Healthy Benefits

About this Activity

Dogs are Wonderful.

Whether they have smushy faces, long or short hair, big or little: dogs exude unconditional love and are always happy to see you. Can you say that about any one person in your life? Even if you don’t own a dog, just hanging out with these four-legged friends can make your (metaphorical) tail happier and healthier than if you didn’t.  

I have an adorable Boxer named Gib. She’s my first baby and an incredible big sister to my son. Before having my son, Gib was my best friend and biggest cheerleader. She got me out of myself, out of the house, and out into the great outdoors. Needless to say, dog owners already know the inherent benefits of having a dog: unconditional love, lots of slobbery kisses, a reason to go outside, and doghair-decorated clothes. But beyond the obvious, having a dog or even just hanging out with a friend’s dog can increase your health in ways you can’t even see.

What are the Benefits?

The benefits of canine companionship are so great that the Harvard Medical School even published a special health report titled “Get Healthy, Get A Dog: The Health Benefits of Canine Companionship.” The report stated that having a dog can help you become calmer, more mindful, increase sociability and lessen isolation. Just petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and heart rate.*

Today, my dog Gib is a great companion for my son. She is also a saint. Despite my trying to teach him otherwise, my son pulls her ears, jumps on her, kisses her, chases her, and pulls on her legs. She takes it all in stride and gives me a look like, “Really?” when he puts her in a headlock. She also plays back, kisses him all over his face, and is protective of him when we go for walks. She is family, and I couldn’t imagine my family without her. Now they say dog owners and their dogs eventually start to look like each other...I don’t think I look like a boxer dog, but I could be wrong!

So what are you waiting for? To find your Fido friend and kiss them today. I hope your tail wags today.

Liv Fagerholm

Creation Associate at Maria’s Place