Suite One, 34 Murwillumbah Street, Murwillumbah NSW, Australia

Olwen Anderson's Blog

The power of pets to boost your health

Saturday, April 14, 2018
You’ve probably seen them out and about: Striding along with heads held high, clearly relishing the whole experience of exercise outdoors in the fresh air. Oh, the myriad of stimulating sights, new sounds and intriguing smells! At the other end of the lead will be their owners, maybe enjoying this experience as much as their pets, maybe not. Who is taking whom for a walk? Who can tell…

It’s easy to see how owning a dog could help you get fit, because that dog will take you out walking, with joy, as soon as you pick up the lead and doggy bag. Sure makes it easy to walk regularly when you know you’ll have company. And dogs are unique amongst pets in that they’re always pleased to see you, always up for a walk, and can even help you make new friends at the dog beach. Unlike cats, who can be moody and don’t much like walks. Nor being on a lead.

But could a dog support your health too? It turns out that dogs seem to have an innate ability to detect the physical and emotional state of their owners, sometimes before the person themselves is even aware they need extra support. So therapy dogs or assistance dogs are becoming a more frequent sight, accompanying children with autism in challenging situations, people with diabetes, veterans with post-traumatic stress, even assisting in counselling sessions to comfort distressed clients. 

We’re already familiar with guide dogs with leather harness strapped on, helping their sight impaired handlers navigate their way through the world. Dogs are so helpful in so many ways they’ve even had a book written about them, “Dogs with Jobs”: Dogs are out there helping people in need with no expectation of reward beyond time for play.

Some research has been done into the benefits of dogs to ease blood pressure, boost the immune system and relieve stress. So far they’ve decided that there just might be some benefits to pet ownership. Avid dog lovers, though (you know, the people who can’t imagine life without dogs) would disagree: of course owning a dog is going to do you good, they’d claim!

So if you’re being told to exercise more by your health practitioner, there’s some four-legged trainers who would love to help you get fit again. And if your mental health is struggling, maybe a furry friend could help there too.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy 'Natural Therapies For Mental Health'

Book An Appointment After something specific?

Recent Articles

Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


Subscribe to my ezine and receive your FREE recipe ebook for healthy breakfasts!