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The health benefits of owning a dog

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I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post because I don’t want to persuade people to get a dog. It is a massive commitment for the length of that dog’s life. I also don’t condone buying dogs with so many being put to sleep every day simply because nobody wanted them. But my rescue dogs have changed my life for the better, not least because of the health benefits of owning a dog.

Lindisfarne Holy Island is located off the North East Coast of England in the United Kingdom. It is a site of special scientific interest with stunning views, fascinating wildlife and places of historical interest to visit. The island is dog friendly and is a great place to visit for families with children to visit as well.

Physical health benefits of owning a dog

The NHS suggest that walking 10,000 steps a day is a great way to kickstart a more active lifestyle. But according to their research, the average adult walks only 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. Because it’s so easy to fall into an unhealthy pattern of inactivity. And yet for dog owners, achieving 10,000 steps a day is a doddle.

Dogs need to go for walks. It’s not just physically beneficial to them, it’s all they’ve got. It’s what they live for. The hours they spend dozing on their bed or playing with you at home are just a way of passing the time. Waiting for the moment they get out for a walk. And when they’re strolling through the countryside, walking down the street or running after a ball, that’s when they’re happy.

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And dog owners know how happy dogs are about walkies. Dragging yourself off the sofa to walk the dog can be a massive chore. But even a short walk will clock up a good few of your 10,000 steps. And you’ll be making someone’s day whatever the weather, whatever your mood and however you feel.

What’s more, dog ownership has been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol so you’re less likely to have a heart attack. And if you do have one, you should recover quicker. Children who own pets are less likely to be allergic to them. And they’re more likely to be active and spend time outside.

If your dogs have some funny habits when you’re out walking with them, do check out the Why Do Pets website. They have some great suggestions as to why our pets sometimes have odd character quirks.


Mental health benefits of owning a dog

Physical activity reduces stress according to various studies. So by virtue of the fact you get out walking with the dog, you’re lowering your stress levels. Additionally, just spending time with a pet lowers the levels of stress chemicals in the brain. They also ease tension between couples and help people to perform better at stressful tasks.

Another thing that makes us feel better is being around people. So for anyone who is isolated, dog ownership can be a bit of a lifeline. It doesn’t instantly provide the emotional support of a good friend, but it can lead you to meet like minded people. Whether that’s when you’re out for a stroll, taking part in a training class or just going to a dog friendly café, it’s a great way to improve your social life.

A review and giveaway of Meg Heath bespoke dog leads and collars

Which brings us back round to the main benefit of owning a dog. They make us happy. They’re always there, delighted to see us and acting as if we’re the only thing in the whole world that matters. Dogs can’t make life easier, make you a cup of tea or offer words of advice. But the all-consuming greeting of a doggy grin and a tail wagging so hard that their whole body wiggles about is enough to make any dog owner smile.

Why get a dog? Well if you value your health, want to move more, get fit, get plenty of exercise and improve your mental health, a rescue dog might be just what you need.

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  1. June 11, 2017 / 7:06 am

    I’ve never been a dog lover, but over the past couple of years I’ve really started to see how much pleasure they bring to people and I think I could easily love a dog. Needless to say I would love walking one too. My husband isn’t keen, so I doubt we will ever have one, but I like to think of myself walking a dog when the kids have all left home.
    Do people really only do 3000 to 4000 steps? Some days I’ve done 2500 before I even set off for the school run!

  2. June 11, 2017 / 8:17 am

    I wasn’t a dog owner or dog lover until I was brought one by my now ex boyfriend. I loved him and he really did help me through some difficult times. It was from having a dog that my love of going on walks came from and this has carried on even though we no longer have a dog to walk x

    • June 11, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Ahh yes, they get to you dogs don’t they? It’s impossible not to love them when they come into your life.

  3. June 11, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Lovely post Nat 🙂 We normally manage our 10 000 steps or more walking the kids (I had dogs before I had kids and it has definitely affected my approach to child rearing), but when we borrowed our friend’s doggy we walked it’s little legs of around Bewl water which racked up 30 000 steps. I think I was a Labrador myself in a previous life – tendency to be tubby, wet nose most of the time, and I need to be walked to be happy!

    • June 11, 2017 / 10:21 pm

      Haha Maz you do make me giggle! Glad you manage your 10,000 steps by walking the children!

  4. June 12, 2017 / 7:52 am

    Dogs are definitely great to keep you fit and healthy, I used to love walking my parents labs as a teenager. We will probably get a dog in the future, but not until the children are older, as I don’t know if we could afford it at the moment. 🙂 x

  5. June 13, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    Hi Nat, I can’t imagine life without a dog or two. Our winter walks with the dogs are the best and their excitement is almost too much to bare. And I can’t imagine walking through our gate and not being greeted by excited and happy dogs, it just wouldn’t be home.


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