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Harvard Study Reveals Dog Owners Are Much Healthier
Photo: Tony Alter

A recent study released by Harvard collected in ‘Get Healthy, Get A Dog  has ground breaking evidence that having a dog is kind of like the fountain of youth. Sometimes we need scientists to connect the dots for us and show us the blatantly obvious. Sometimes we just need real hard data to wake us up to the truth.

This study has found that dog ownership is linked to leaner bodies, healthier hearts and better social skills to name a few benefits. While vet bills and cost of food might be a deterrent for some potential pet parents, maybe this will have you whistling a new tune, or tooting a dog training whistle!

RELATED: How Dogs Are Helping in the Fight Against Cancer

Harvard Study Reveals Dog Owners Are Much Healthier

This collection of studies is comprehensive and convincing. Not only do people who have dogs growing up show more empathy, they also seem to have better social communication skills. It’s full of insights such as the tidbit about Oxytocin which sounds like an illegal controlled substance but is really something released naturally by the brain.

This chemical is a mood booster produced just by being around dogs. That’s right, doggie time releases real endorphins in our brains, and those sad puppy dog eyes are enough to really make us feel more happy!

These studies also showed that dogs are just as happy to be with humans.

It’s a magical bond that is symbiotic for both creatures. Dogs love going on walks, hanging out with you as a companion and learning tricks. Even the American Heart Association had good things to say about dog ownership. They mention how some obese people feel self conscious going outside to exercise, however they are more at ease when they are going outside to walk their dogs.

Okay, so dog owners are more active, we all get that, but what about our well being? Can we truly be more happy just by owning a dog? Well dogs thrive with human interaction, regular exercise and sunshine and so do we. When we pair up with something that depends upon us, we are essentially subscribing to a better lifestyle.

It’s like making a promise to the dog and to ourselves that we choose to love each other and ourselves. Even in the elderly community, dogs have been found to increase health in many areas such as heart problems and blood pressure problems. Dogs help to lower stress and keep us from feeling isolated.

Dogs are there when no one else is to give you a slobbery kiss and a furry paw. They forgive you even when you’ve been grumpy and they encourage you to go outside and meet other people. They can even be a great conversation starter.

The old adage about single guys using puppies to bait women still holds water by the way. A girl can’t walk past a guy with a puppy without saying, “awe he’s so cute.” Perhaps, the guy could then respond, “yeah and the dog’s not bad either huh?”

All jokes aside, remember to encourage your friends and family to consider getting a dog, it could really benefit both them and the lovable mutt!