Study: Dogs Help Your HealthPublished June 20, 2012
Any pet parent will tell you that their loving companion makes them feel healthier overall. According to an ABC News article, science is now backing up their claim; research conducted in a study done by the University of California, San Francisco shows that owning a dog can improve the health of children and lowers the chance of those kids getting the common cold.
The research, based on a study of mice, found that dust from dog-owning homes protected children against the common cold. When animals were fed this doggy house dust, they did not exhibit symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common and sometimes fatal illness in young children associated with the risk of developing asthma. Though it seems contrary to what would seem normal, kids in pet owning households actually have a lesser risk of developing asthma since their homes are protected against RSV.
While this is great news for pet owners with kids, protection against the common cold and a potentially decreased risk of asthma aren't the only health benefit dogs give us. The article cites that dogs have been shown to improve heart health, reduce anxiety, aid socially isolated and lonely people, help with rehabilitation and recovery from an illness or disability, and improve overall physical fitness.
So there you have it. Caring for a pet doesn’t just make you feel good, but actually helps your body and mind as well.
Do you think owning a pet keeps you healthy? Share your thoughts in a comment.