East Texans with Dogs Have Healthier Hearts? Recent Study Shows it’s Super Likely
Although I don't have the blessing of a dog in my life at the moment, I can tell you that there have been moments when I'm petting my cats that I felt my heart *actually* relax a little. It was as if I could tangibly sense my blood pressure a little.
I set that aside as my perception at the time. However, as I'm reading about this recent study, which was published in the September 2019 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, I'm wondering if maybe what I felt was a real physical feeling.
Researchers have published their findings online before the issue comes out next month and it's giving dog guardians everywhere one more reason to smile. (When you have a dog, there's already many extra smiles in your day, as you may have noticed.)
Their studies found that owning a pet could contribute to a healthier heart for you. This showed to be especially true if the pet in question was a dog. Surprised? Me neither. There's something about unconditional love that seems to have a healing effect on the human body.
Inverse.com interviewed one of the study's authors, Dr. Jose Medina-Inojosa, who reports that "getting a dog, either adopting, rescuing, or buying it, might help your cardiovascular health and help you have a healthier life." You can learn more about the specific insights of the study here.
One could intuit that one contributing factor may be the fact that dogs encourage us to exercise more than we otherwise would. But also, there's no doubt that the friendship and comforting presence dogs provide would help tremendously in bringing down our stress levels and blood pressure.
Another study from 2017 published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that those who had pets tended to have a higher self-regard and were less lonely. One could conclude that these social and cognitive benefits may lead to better physical health as we learn more and more about the mind-body connection.
OK, so if you needed one more reason to consider adopting a furry companion, certainly this would be considered a "pro." And it just so happens we can help you with that. :)