Dog owners worldwide enjoy longer lifespans on average, and the company a canine provides makes those extra years of life more gratifying. Positive health attributes dogs afford remain a constant for young and elderly alike, including weight maintenance, reduced blood pressure, as well as improved cardiovascular fitness. The benefits of owning a dog are not limited to the physical. People with pets enjoy superior self-esteem, while suffering less depression due to an optimistic mindset that companionship with animals engenders. The variety of sizes, temperaments, exercise needs, and breed peculiarities make dogs as versatile as a Swiss Army knife, and thus accessible to all.
Medical and academic institutions proffer statistics that support a notion of the dog owner as a more active and happier individual. A 2007 study by Queen's University Belfast compiled and analyzed global research data, confirming the science behind dog aficionados leading healthier lives. Published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, their analysis stressed regular w...
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...iety and making them aware of the temporary fixation. The heartening stories of these special dogs are legion.
I find myself to be anecdotal evidence. Every day at noon, Sultan, a black Labrador, fetches me (including weekends, refusing to acknowledge the concept of a day off) for a daily walk. At that point, I dutifully stop whatever I am doing to indulge in an invigorating break outdoors for my body and mind. The walk usually lasts 30 minutes, encompassing hills and the occasional rabbit or squirrel chase. The routine has become my reset button, and I return to my desk refreshed by a sense of serenity only afforded by nature.
Even if scientific proof were lacking, people intuitively understand the benefits dogs have on their human companions. As author and essayist Gene Hill insightfully quipped, "Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies."
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