The Benefits of Having a Dog

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According to the American Pet Products Association, 63% of U.S. households have a pet, which works out to be approximately 71.1 million homes and 382.2 million animals.  Though they require time and attention, pets also give in return.  People add pets to their families for numerous reasons, from friendship to protection. Our dogs, Bosley and Rambo, have been a great addition to our family. They were the perfect precursor to having babies.  Puppies don’t always sleep through the first few nights!

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Rambo welcoming Charlotte into our Pack

Dogs Start Us Off on the Right Foot…Research has shown that children who have a dog in their home have a stronger immune system, according to a study from the University of California, San Francisco.  There is reason to believe that some germs, such as those associated with dogs, may be beneficial for children’s health, lowering the risk of asthma and ear infections.  Studies also show that children who grow up with pets in their home benefit in social and emotional development.

Dogs Help Us Stay Healthy, Physically and Mentally…Not only are dog owners more active due to the dog’s exercise requirements, but we smile more.  How many times have your dog’s antics made you smile?  Probably more than you can count.  Joy and laughter trigger the release of chemicals in the brain that enhance our immune function and petting something furry is a proven immune boost. A Wilkes University study found that stroking a dog for 18 minutes caused an increase in the body’s natural antibodies against invading germs. Another study found that people with pets make fewer doctor visits.

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                                                Our first Boxer, Bosley,he’s the intellectual type.

Dogs Boost Our Social Interactions…A study done in 2000 found that when walking with a dog, there were three times as many social interactions than when walking alone.  When out and about with your dog, whether at the dog park or on a hike, people are more likely to strike up a conversation.  This “magnet affect” as National Institutes of Health Research named it, has been found to help many, from natural introverts to wheelchair patients.  Their research indicated that “a companion dog increased the quantity and quality of attention directed to the handicapped individuals from both familiar individuals and strangers.”Image

With the many benefits of dog ownership is there any wonder that so many of us welcome a furry friend into our home?

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