Fab, Thanks to Fido: How Dogs can Make Us Happier & Healthier

how dogs make you happier

Photo: @maloryleigh/Instagram

Photo: @endeavorsofego

You’ve probably always known that your dog can make you happy, but did you know that an increasing body of research shows that your furry BFF can also make you healthy?

We’re spillin’ the kibble on some of the many ways that pet ownership can bring wag-worthy wellness into your life:

Walk the walk. You may be tempted to skip out on daily exercise, but one look at that pair of expectant puppy-dog eyes can be convincing enough to lace up your sneakers and hit the walking path, leash in hand. The health benefits of walking are well established: it can improve heart health, blood pressure, stress level, sleeping habits, weight management and more. If you and your walking buddy are bored with your current route, explore one of our many local dog parks or dog-friendly trails.

Social animals. A recent study found that dog ownership can lead to reduced social isolation in people, including seniors. Make a date with your pup – and a friend! – to do some shopping or chatting over refreshments. Many shops are dog-friendly, as are tons of restaurant patios and breweries.

Immune tune-up. Love a dog who can’t hold their licker? Kissing your pup may actually improve your health by contributing “good” bacteria to your gut microflora. And heck, if you aren’t grossed out by it, it’s a lot cheaper than those fancy probiotic yogurts (!).

Feel the love. Spending time with your pet can provide an instant mood lift, and scientists also say that your dog can recognize human emotions and even help diffuse a tense conversation.

Head to our dog-friendly directory for more furbulous opportunities to enjoy the good life with your pup, plus a list of local rescues and shelters from which to adopt your next four-legged family member.

A version of this Sidewalk Dog article originally appeared in the newsletter of Clinic Sofia.

2 thoughts on “Fab, Thanks to Fido: How Dogs can Make Us Happier & Healthier

  1. Hans Aberg

    I agree with you….

    Pets makes us happy and keeps healthy, they make us more active.

    Whether you’re tossing a tennis ball at the dog park or dancing around the living room with your cat, you’re moving around — and that means burning calories, getting your heart rate up and scoring the big mood and energy boosts provided by quick bursts of exercise.


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