Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

Dog ownership may increase your life span

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Health Benefits of Owning a Dog

As if you needed another reason to own a dog, did you know that owning a dog actually has health benefits? According to the CDC, studies have shown that owning a dog, can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing. In fact, one study by the American Heart Association showed a correlation between dog ownership and a 24% reduction in overall mortality.

Some benefits of owning a dog:

  • Decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels
    • Playing and petting your dog lowers your blood pressure & heart rate, slows your breathing, and relieves tension.
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness and depression
    • Service dogs are used to help those with mental illness and disabilities. They also provide companionship to those who may become socially isolated such as seniors.
  • Increased opportunities for exercise, both inside and outdoors
    • On average, people with dogs spend more time per week doing mild to moderate exercise than those who don’t own dogs. A Canadian study found that dog owners walked on average 300 minutes per week vs. 168 minutes per week for non-dog owners. Plus, playing with your dog is beneficial to you and your dog’s relationship and health. Check out our blog “5 Reasons You Should Play With Your Dog” for more info!
  • Increased opportunities for socialization
    • Next time you’re out with your dog at the park or walking in the street, try and notice how many neighbors or friends you say hello to. A 2015 study researching pet owners in 4 different cities showed that dog-owners were 5 times more likely to get to know their neighbors. Dogs are definitely ice breakers!
  • Having pets in your home during early childhood may reduce children’s chances to develop allergies
    • According to a 2018 study in Sweden, the more pets you have in your home, the lower the chances your child may develop allergies as they grow older. They call it a “mini-farm” effect. Fun!

does this mean you should get a dog just to help you and your family live longer?

Short answer: No. Long Answer: Yes. If you want some guidance on picking a dog, check out our blog “How to Choose the Perfect Dog Breed For You!” for help on which fits your lifestyle best. Be honest about your needs and wants to set you and your dog up for success.


Brock Casper is the Southwest Region Team Manager for Rover-Time and has been part of the RT team for two years. When he isn’t working he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching horror films, and going on walks with his dog, Loki.  He lives in the northwest part of Chicago with his partner, Laurel. They enjoy making delicious food together and watching cooking shows.

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