Is it true that love can save your life?
I’m not talking about the sappy stuff peddled on TV. I mean unconditional love.
The kind you can’t buy.
The kind parents give their kids.
Or, if you’re not a parent, the kind you can get… from a dog.
If you know anything about me, you know I love my dog, Ellie. She’s the best company I can think of, and a terrific companion for walks.
There’s something really special about coming home to a furry ball of happy who’s always over the moon to see you.
It does my heart good to come home to Ellie. That much I know.
And now science is proving it’s literally good for my heart.
As in, cardiovascular exercise good for my heart.
Better than red wine good for my heart.
A new study is showing that people with dogs are less likely to get heart disease or to die from any cause.
Most important, this is especially true for someone living alone.
People who lived alone and had a dog were 33% less likely to die than those living alone without a dog.
I like those odds!
This might be because having a dog tends to keep us more active. Ellie won’t let me miss a day when it comes to her rigorous walking schedule.
Dogs are also wonderful stress relievers. And we all know by now that stress can do a real number on our health.
There are an increasing number of studies out there that show pets can lower our blood pressure and anxiety levels.
But I think the best part of having a dog is the companionship they offer.
Companionship is really important to our health, especially as we age.
It’s been shown that isolation is not very healthy for us, and dogs can help in two ways to keep us from going all hermit-crab:
• Dogs make great companions.
• Dogs give us a reason to get out there and socialize—be it at the dog park or just for a short walk around the block. (I may not know all my neighbors’ names… but I do know most of the dogs.)
And here’s another benefit to owning a dog, especially as you age…
Another study showed that seniors over 65 with pets visited the doctor less often than their solo counterparts.
The dog owners in particular reported fewer visits to their doctor.
Maybe we should overhaul the old saying, what do you think?
A dog a day keeps the doctor away…
Now get out there and throw that ball around. Your dog (and your heart) will thank you!
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance