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Pet Ownership: Good for the Health and Soul
It comes as no surprise to many dog lovers that owning a dog can lead to a happier and more fulfilled life. The research continues to mount with the latest study coming from Queensland, which suggests being out in a park for more than 30 minutes can lead to improved health. This is something most dog owners do on a very regular basis.
“There have been numerous studies over the years, that link a decrease in certain conditions for those of us who own pets,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says.
More recently in Queensland, research has revealed that spending time in parks and nature can positively impact your blood pressure, as well as overall mental health and wellbeing. The study, which was led by The University of Queensland and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, suggests that having a dose of nature is good for your health.
The health benefits revealed in the study indicate that spending at least 30mins in a park can reduce the risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety and stress.
“Most dog owners have daily, if not weekly interactions in nature and parklands,” states Crighton. “It’s another indication that owning a pet can have real, tangible health benefits.”
In Sweden, where it is mandatory to register canines, a study revealed that dog owners are at a lower risk of suffering from a stroke and heart failure. This is believed to be linked to the likelihood that dog owners are exercising daily. Plus the positive physiological effects that owning a dog brings.
“The importance of having a family pet is more evident today than ever before,” says Crighton. “Recently the completion of a 10-year study in the UK proved that children are more likely to confide in their pets than their siblings or friends.”
The bond with the family pet has helped countless children face a broad range of difficult and emotional issues.
“The role our pets play in our family is much larger and deeper than anyone could have imagined 20 years ago,” asserts Pet Insurance Australia spokesperson, Nadia Crighton. “There is now concrete evidence that having a pet in our homes is a huge advantage for ourselves and our children, on so many emotional and health levels.”
The love we have for our pets is being further documented across the globe. A recent study by a Japanese university has confirmed that the chemical ‘love hormone’ known as oxytocin is evident after dogs gaze into their owners’ eyes.
Dogs can also help us to become more sociable. “There has never been a better reason to get out and about with your dog,” Crighton says. “Your mind, body and dog will love you for it.”
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