For anyone living alone, there is nothing better than a companion dog. Even people who never knew they wanted a dog, or even knew they liked them in the first place, find that having a companion dog with them improves their outlook on life and have realized improvements in their physical as well as emotional health. But, how does this phenomenon occur? How do companion dogs improve your health? Here is some of what the experts say.
A Great Way to Stay Active
When living alone, especially when you are getting up there in years, it’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself to get up and get active. Oftentimes seniors find themselves in the house for days on end and only venture out when they run out of groceries or to go to the doctor. Companion dogs not only require potty walks throughout the day, but they also need to be fed and watered, and above all, played with. If you find that you lack activity, a companion dog just might do the trick – and perhaps a few you hadn’t counted on!
Companion Dogs Relieve Stress
According to Harvard Medical School, dogs can be therapeutic in relieving stress. While there are specially trained therapy dogs, the same concept holds true for companion dogs. Simply by playing with them, petting them or sitting with them on your lap or close at hand relieves more symptoms of stress than you would believe. Patients’ heart rates and blood pressure are known to drop, and tension just seems to melt from their bodies.
There is, however, one thing you might want to be aware of and that is that companion dogs are also extremely sensitive to your moods and stress levels. If you will be taking your dog along to a place where you will be experiencing more stress than usual, your dog can also become anxious because you are. In situations like this, it is recommended that you investigate your options in anxiety medication for dogs so that they stay calm while you are trying to do the very same thing.
Some Dogs Know You Are Sick Before You Do
Some dog owners have reported that their dogs knew their owner had a serious illness before they did! It has been noted that some dogs can sniff out cancer and can often detect lung, colon, breast and even skin cancers and have acted in such a way as to prompt a visit to the doctor. When you are living alone it’s often easy to miss symptoms family members might pick up on, and a companion dog will often do the very same thing. There’s nothing like having your own personal warning system to keep you healthy!
There are just so many healthy benefits of having a companion dog and even if you never knew you wanted a dog, perhaps you should think about it now. If you are living alone and are in need of a good friend, there is really no better friend than a companion dog. The healthy benefits alone are why you should find a new friend to share your home.