7 reasons why dogs make our lives better

7 reasons why dogs make our lives better

It is probably difficult for most dog owners to imagine life without a dog, since their canine companion is always by their side and dogs are known to be man's best friends. In fact, dogs are beneficial to us in many areas – often without us knowing. Read in the following article seven reasons why dogs make our lives better.

1. Dogs reduce stress levels

All dog owners will confirm that living with their pet does them good. This feeling can be scientifically proven, since American researchers have been able to prove in studies that dogs reduce the stress levels of their owners. Endorphins are released increasingly by stroking dogs, whilst the production of stress hormones is reduced at the same time.

The researcher team looked for an occupational group for the study that is exposed to high stress levels on a daily basis and opted for single stockbrokers. Indeed, the presence of dogs had a proven positive effect on the test subjects! Typical stress symptoms like rising blood pressure, increased heart rate and sweat production were observed. Test subjects with a dog reacted in a much more relaxed manner in stressful situations. Incidentally, office dogs have the same effect by reducing the stress level of employees and having a generally positive impact on the working day. This was also proved in various studies.

2. Dogs are good for the heart

Our blood pressure increases when we are stressed. Anyone who permanently suffers from high blood pressure has an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Since dogs have a positive effect on stress levels, the risk of  disease is also reduced in line with this. Dog walks can also have a positive effect on the circulatory system and help owners to remain healthy.

3. Dogs reduce the risk of allergies for children

Parents are often worried that a dog could have a negative impact on their child's health, but the opposite is true. Studies prove that children who grow up with a dog have a lower risk of suffering from allergies. However, this is only the case if there is no family history.

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Children who grow up with a dog have further advantages, as is confirmed by a number of studies. For instance, dogs have a positive impact upon children's personality development. They quickly learn to assume responsibility and develop greater social competency. Dogs can also support children with their learning. For example, there are specially trained reading dogs able to help children with learning difficulties to read. The children read out loud to the dogs, which gives them a sense of security as they do not criticise.

  1. Dogs keep us fit

A lack of exercise and the resulting excess weight increase the risk of many diseases. Dogs keep their owners fit. They have to go outside – not just to do their business but to get exercise too – and their owner automatically benefits from this too. Going for long walks and playing together keep dogs and humans fit. This has a positive effect on their weight and health. As well, exercise in the fresh air strengthens the immune system at the same time.

5. Dogs help to make contacts

Dogs can help to make contacts, since dog owners soon end up in conversation with one another. They certainly have enough in common. Regular walks are often the only form of contact with the outside world for elderly people in particular. Hence, some dogs protect their owners from social isolation.

6. Dogs make life easier for people with disabilities

Assistance or rehabilitation dogs have extra training in order to live with people with physical and mental impairments and support them in their day-to-day life. Blind dogs are probably the best-known assistance dogs. They help blind people with orientation and are a great support for them on a day-to-day basis. Signal or epilepsy dogs are other popular four-legged helpers.

7. Dogs save lives

Seizure alert dogs are a special type of assistance dogs that support people with illnesses that could have life-threatening consequences. For instance, there are diabetic alert dogs that react to their owner's blood glucose level and warn them before they end up with high or low blood sugar.

Rescue dogs are another type of specially trained dogs. Their pronounced sense of smell allows them to search large areas within a short space of time. Rescue dogs work in teams of sniffer dogs and are, for instance, deployed to search for missing persons following avalanches, earthquakes, shipwrecks and more.

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