A new study shows that having a dog makes owners healthier

“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” goes the old saying, but recent research shows that something else is capable of being incredibly beneficial to human health: Doggie lovin’. Harvard Medical School and MSPCA-Angell have just released a report called “Get Healthy, Get a Dog,” supporting the claim that owning a dog can do wonders for a person’s mind, body and soul.

Photo by Reuel Mark Delez, Flickr

Photo by Reuel Mark Delez, Flickr

The study’s co-authors, Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Lisa Moses, VMD, Staff Veterinarian at Angell Animal Medical Center, state that having a dog can:

  • provide companionship;
  • boost activity level;
  • help with nerves and to be calmer, more mindful and more present in one’s life;
  • make kids more active, social, secure and responsible;
  • improve the lives of older individuals;
  • make one more social and less isolated.

In “Get Healthy, Get a Dog,” Dr. Frates and Dr. Moses not only detail the ways pooches help their people, but reinforce how the relationship between man and best friend is mutually beneficial. They emphasize one’s duties when deciding to become a doggie mom or dad, such as ensuring appropriate, regular exercise, proper diet and nutrition, veterinary care and obedience training. Being well-equipped with this knowledge will help Fido live a long, healthy, happy life. And when your furry friend is happy, you will be, too!

If you have a furry family member, you probably already know that he or she helps improve your life mentally and physically. But now Harvard research proves it too!

So go snuggle your potentially life-saving dogs a little more today. And if you want to read the hard facts for yourself, “Get Healthy, Get a Dog”can be purchased online at health.harvard.edu/dogsheal.