It’s National Puppy Day! Puppies are like little balls of furry therapy for the soul. They’re cute and cuddly, but they’re also mischievous and sometimes destructive as they go about learning the ways of the world. Good training, good nutrition, lots of exercise and playtime with not only help turn your puppy into a great dog, but can also help you become healthier and happier!
Puppy dogs are good for your mood
Research shows that petting your puppy dog for just 15 minutes a day spurs your brain to release “feel good” hormones like serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, while reducing stress hormones like cortisol, which controls appetite and can cause cravings for carbohydrates. Another great side effect? Lower blood pressure!
Puppy dogs are good for your health
Getting out and about with your pup is good for you both. Walking your puppy dog or going to the dog park are fun activities that can help you get regular exercise, lose weight and become more social.
Puppy dogs can help reduce your risk for diabetes
People who get up, get outside and take a walk regularly with their pooches have one-third the risk of diabetes than people who don’t own and walk a dog.
Puppy dogs are good for children and teens, too
Children with experience caring for a dog have higher levels of empathy and self-esteem than children without pet dogs. In addition, Swedish researchers determined that children who are exposed to pets during their first year of life have fewer allergies and less asthma than those from non-pet owning families. A University of Virginia study also found that teens from dog-owning families are more physically active than those whose families don’t own a pet dog.
Older dog owners require fewer trips to the doctor
While raising and training a puppy can be too much of a handful for some older folks, dogs make wonderful companions for the elderly, and can help ease their feelings of loneliness and isolation while improving their overall health. According to a UCLA study among the elderly population, dog owners require 20 percent less medical care than non-dog owners.