The Most Annoying Things About Your Dog Could Save Your Life

baby and dogNot breaking news: People who own dogs live longer, happier lives. That's why they call dogs "man's best friend," right? Breaking news: People who own dogs don't merely have a better quality of life overall, they're actually less likely to develop specific, serious medical problems like asthma and heart disease. Ironic breaking news: The things about your dog that drive you the craziest just happen to be the things that could end up saving your life.

Doggone it! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) But it really is true. So the next time you find yourself grumbling about dog hair on the sofa or being dragged around the block in the rain by a dog in desperate need of a walk, keep these health facts in mind:

1. Kids who grow up with dogs in the house are less likely to develop asthma. A recent study showed that "microbes in house dust from dog-owning homes protect against a common viral infection associated with increased risk of asthma development." Those same microbes are thought to work in the gut, too, to boost immunity in general (much like probiotics.)

2. Dogs keep your heart healthy. It's a fact: There's a proven "connection between owning a dog and reduced risk of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels." Probably has something to do with those all-weather walks you're forced to take!

3. Dogs are better than therapy. Seriously! (And probably cheaper.) According to a study done at the Medical College of Virginia, "hospitalized patients with mental health issues, therapy with animals significantly reduced anxiety levels more than conventional recreational therapy sessions."

Aww, don't you want to go give your dog a good belly rub now?

Do you think your dog keeps you healthy? How?


Image via Aaron Silvers/Flickr

asthma, emotional health, general health


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Sheepy Sheepy

Aww :) I know my dog is amazing.I love him to death,He will always be my baby puppy

grave... gravercem

I agree fully, and also have had a dog save my daughters life.  When my daughter was two she was coming upstairs from her room when she stopped breathing, our dog was next to her held her up so she would not fall and started to bark to get our attention.  I will always be thankful to that dog. 

nonmember avatar Missforth

My husband had luekemia when he was very young. By the time he was diagnosed, he was in serious shape. The dr. ask his mother if he had a pet and she told them "Yes, he has a dog." She was then told that it probably had alot to do with him making it that far. The only time since then that he's been without a dog was just after we were married. It upset him terribly.

jessi... jessicasmom1

aww I can't wait to see my dog tomorrow :-) 

AgGurl92 AgGurl92

we have five dogs....does that mean im living forever? =P lol

No, but dogs are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I've had my oldest for 8 years, since i was twelve and she was 7 weeks. I love my dogs to death...they are the best listeners.

Me and my fiance joke that dogs are like children - without the back talk and without having to pay for a college education! 

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