SOURCE: WhyDoesMyDog.com

Mega Media Worldwide

March 04, 2016 09:00 ET

Dog Trainer and Founder of New Website WhyDoesMyDog.com Shares Her Top Scientific Reasons to Get a Dog

SEATTLE, WA --(Marketwired - March 04, 2016) - It's no secret that dogs are a wonderful addition to our lives and for most dog lovers they are more than just a pet, they are an actual member of the family. But if you think getting a dog just sounds like a good idea, Aly DelaCouer, a dog trainer and founder of the new website WhyDoesMyDog.com, is proving that there is actually extensive scientific proof that it truly is a good idea and good for you. Here are just a few of the SCIENTIFIC reasons to get a dog:

  • Your Health: There is extensive research showing that dog owners are just healthier. The CDC states that dog owners have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Studies show that children who grow up with dogs are healthier and have less allergies. And dog owners are 34% more likely to get their 150 minutes of exercise per week helping reduce obesity.
  • Your Happiness: Dogs are known to reduce anxiety, pain and depression. Petting your dog can increase oxytocin or the feel-good hormone and decrease cortisol levels in your brain. Also, dog owners report actually having higher self-esteem and having a much higher bounce back rater after being rejected or broken up with.
  • Healing Powers: Dogs boost your immune system and will help you recover from illness twice as quickly as you would on your own.
  • Matters of the Heart: A recent survey by Dogs Trust found that you are 85% more approachable with a dog by your side and 60% of people find dog owners more attractive. Perhaps update your profile picture to include one with your pup!

And while you may not need a million reasons or scientific proof, there are many things you should consider BEFORE you bring a new dog home. Here are just a few:

  • Training: Time & Energy: Consider the amount of time and energy you have -- try to match the dog's breed and age to your energy level and the time you have available
  • Home Sweet Forever Home Environment: Make sure you have enough space  for the breed or size dog. Also think about WHO will be the primary caretaker.
  • Doggie Dollars: You will need a good vet, groomer and possibly dog walker. Make sure you consider these costs in addition to the basics of feeding and accessories like leashes and beds etc.
  • You Are Saying I Do: Dogs are a commitment and a responsibility. Consider that they should live with you for the rest  of their lives and that you are responsible for helping them be happy and healthy. 

Below Are 10 Scientific Reasons to Get a Dog and The Research to Back Them Up:

  1. They are good for your heart! According to the American Heart Association, dogs can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (1). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that dog owners have lower cholesterol and lower blood  pressure than non-dog owners. That is worth a lifetime of scooping poop!
  2. Dogs are known to reduce anxiety, pain and depression. They have been beneficial in helping deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (2). Miami University offers pet therapy to students to help them with homesickness and depression, especially during finals (3). Unfortunately, insurance does not cover a dose of puppy a day!
  3. Research has found that your dog can be trained to sniff out breast and lung cancer just from your breath (4)! In another study, dogs were able to identify urine from a patient with prostate cancer with 91% accuracy (5). Cancer is only one of the few diseases that dogs have been trained to sniff out, so encourage him to use his nose!
  4. One study has shown that  dog owners are 34% more likely to get their 150 minutes of exercise per week than non-dog owners (6). National Institutes of Health found that dog owners had a significantly lower rate of obesity and remained active into old age. So thank your dog for being your personal trainer!
  5. Petting your dog can increase oxytocin or the feel-good hormone and decrease cortisol levels in your brain (7). Some people experienced increased an output of endorphins and dopamine after just 5 minutes of being with their pet. Other research shows that bringing a dog to work can help reduce stress and make the work day better (8). Talk to your boss!
  6. Dog owners report having higher self-esteem, being more conscientious and having a much higher bounce back rate after being rejected or broken up with. A recent survey by Dogs Trust found that you are 85% more approachable with a dog by your side and 60% of people find dog owners more attractive. Perhaps update your profile picture to include one with your pup!
  7. Research shows children who  grew up with pets are 31% healthier and have less allergies than those who  lived pet free (9). This research suggests that when animals are allowed  to bring in more dirt and microbes from outdoors, it helps strengthen babies' immune systems faster. Not to mention that dogs also improve children's self-esteem! Fido is more than a companion to your children.
  8. A study done by Goldsmith University shows that dogs show empathetic responses to human distress. It also showed that it did not matter if the person was the dog's owner or not; the dog shows the same reaction to strangers (10). They can offer a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.
  9. Dog owners are just healthier. Smokers reported that they quit when they learned that smoke was harmful to their dog. Dogs' keen sense of smell can detect allergens  in food, even the tiniest trace of the allergen. Dogs also boost your immune system and help you recover from illness twice as quickly as you would on your own.
  10. Dog owners are happier and live longer! Once Fido has reduced your stress levels, your blood pressure and boosted your immune system they can listen all about your recent heartbreak, help you get over it and be able to help you find a new soul mate. All they want in return, food, walks and love!

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/05/09/CIR.0b013e31829201e1.full.pdf+html

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/treatment/cope/dogs_and_ptsd.asp

http://miamioh.edu/student-life/student-counseling-service/outreach/pet-therapy/index.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16484712

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20970246

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21487144

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22866562

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120330081235.htm?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=benefits-of-taking-your-dog-to-work-may-not-be-far-fetched

http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/09/study-why-dogs-and-cats-make-babies-healthier/

http://www.gold.ac.uk/news/pressrelease/?releaseID=947

About Aly DelaCouer & WhyDoesMyDog.com

Aly DelaCouer is a dog trainer and the founder of WhyDoesMyDog.com, a video driven website that delivers bite-sized dog training tips based on current science and research. Aly has studied some of the best animal behaviorists (such as Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson and others) and her training methods focus on positive reinforcement and extinction techniques. She tries to see the world through the dog's eyes, and provide practical, intelligent and caring advice for the humans who love them. All of the techniques that WhyDoesMyDog.com presents are based upon sound animal behavior science and the site provides references to authoritative sources so that visitors can learn more.

The following files are available for download:

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