2. They can act as furry therapists.
Pet therapy, or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as it’s also called, has been linked to the reduction of anxiety, pain, and depression in people with a range of mental or physical health problems. Many people can benefit from pet therapy, including patients undergoing chemotherapy, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and physical therapy patients working on their fine motor skills. Even some academic institutions are taking note.
3. They can sniff out cancer.
Did you know that dogs have a sense of smell that’s 1 million times stronger than ours? Working dogs use their keen sense of smell to locate bombs and drugs, but amazingly, dogs can also sniff out what’s going on inside our bodies. Research has found that your everyday, average household pooch can be trained to distinguish the differences in the breath of those with breast and lung cancer to those without. Another study found that dogs could be trained to detect biomarkers in the urine of those with prostate cancer. That’s one incredible sniffer!
4. They keep us moving.
If you have a dog, you’ve probably walked it, right? Well, all that walking can add up. One study found that dog owners were 34 percent more likely to achieve their recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week than non-dog owners . And don’t dismiss walking as wussy exercise. Just because it’s low-impact (for your joints) doesn’t mean it’s no-impact (for your health).
6. They lower blood pressure.
7. They ease social isolation.
8. They ease workday pressures.
Bringing your dog to work may have a positive impact on your stress levels on the job. Research shows that employees who brought their furry friends to the office reported lower levels of perceived stress throughout the day. (It’s easier to brush off a database meltdown after giving Fido a belly rub!)