Dogs Encourage Better Health Essay

1334 Words 6 Pages
The young royals, Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, created headlines last week by revealing the name of their new puppy. Not mentioned in the multitude of stories is how the dog’s presence can affect the health of the future King and Queen. The latest addition to the Royal family, Lupo a four-month-old black cocker spaniel, is an ideal choice of pet for more than his inability to inherit the throne. Medical studies around the world have concluded dogs encourage better health, and adopting a dog statistically boosts the life expectancy of the monarchial pair. Not only is a dog man’s best friend, but Rover’s presence could be better than an apple a day for you.

Dog owners worldwide enjoy longer lifespans on average,
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"The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and facilitate the development of social contacts, which may enhance both physiological and psychological human health in a more indirect manner."

Studies in Germany, Australia, and China point to dog ownership as sound public policy. An examination of Chinese women (men were excluded) reported increased exercise, fewer doctor visits, and diminished use of sick days at work when a dog is present in the home. Australian and German dog owners were found to use free governmental health services less than the general populace. Pet owners in those countries made approximately 12 to 15% fewer annual doctor visits than their petless peers. German pet owners spent 32% fewer nights in a hospital. The benefits appeared particularly strong for elderly people, the population group with the worst constitutions and heaviest use of health services. The economic benefit was substantial, approximating savings in health expenditure of $5.59 billion for Germany and $3.86 billion for Australia annually.

As with everything in life, age can be a relevant or limiting factor to owning a dog. However, the positives of dog ownership seem to outweigh negligible and manageable negatives. Surveys targeted at pet owners 60 years and older showed less stress and loneliness, better nutrition, and a stronger focus on the present. Seniors walking a dog enjoy a boost in parasympathetic nervous system
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