Thanks to Fido: How Dogs Make Us Happier and Healthier

dog licking owner's face

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 your 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.

Take some time to give thanks to your doggo for giving you all the love, plus some pretty incredible health benefits, too!

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