Health Benefits of Adopting a Dog

Everyone knows that dogs are considered man’s best friend and if you’ve ever welcomed a dog into your family, it’s easy to see why. Since dogs are social pack animals who thrive off of attention and affection, adopting a dog can truly be one of the most rewarding experiences. While you’ll quickly notice the difference in your quality of life and overall happiness, there are also some great scientifically-backed health benefits of adopting a dog. From reducing stress and loneliness to getting active and becoming more social, here are some of the top benefits of adopting a pup.

Pups can help ease stress in your life

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened awareness of the stress and anxiety people often feel in their everyday lives. Regardless of if you live a fast-paced lifestyle or your days are slow and calm, it’s easy to get stressed out and feel anxiety often. Luckily, studies have shown that dogs can help us cope.

In one particular study, 48 participants were given a stress test where they were tasked with public speaking and performing difficult calculations in the presence of unfriendly observers. During preparation, some people had a friend, some were alone, and some had a dog with them. The participants who had a dog with them showed that they had lower heart rates and cortisol levels then all other participants, proving that dogs can truly help us recover from stressful situations.

Dogs encourage us to get along with others

Another study has shown that having a dog around can improve our ability to connect with other people. Especially after coming out of quarantine and learning how to navigate a “new normal” due to the pandemic, being more comfortable approaching strangers is a great skill to have. 

Your four-legged best friend will need to go on walks and stretch their legs which will encourage you to get out of the house more. Being with a dog when you’re on a walk outside is a great way to help you socialize and feel relaxed when getting out of your comfort zone. With more interaction comes less isolation and loneliness which is all around a great health benefit of adopting a dog.

You’ll be much more active with a dog

Some other benefits according to Harvard include lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol levels, and a lower risk of heart disease. Many people attribute this to the fact that most dogs need to be walked and therefore dog owners tend to walk more than those that don’t have a dog. Others say it all boils down to the fact that doing the good deed of adopting an animal in need makes people happier and healthier overall. While you may have otherwise stayed on the couch and pressed “next episode” on your streaming device, your pup helps encourage you to get up, get out, and get active.


Last Chance Animal Rescue

It’s easy to see how the benefits of adopting a dog make the decision a no brainer. If you live on Long Island and are interested in adoption, Last Chance Animal Rescue is an amazing organization that rescues animals that are in “kill” facilities and helps place them in loving homes on Long Island. 

If you have any questions about fostering or adopting, Mark T. Freeley, a volunteer/foster and the pro bono attorney for Last Chance Animal Rescue welcomes all phone calls at 631-495-9435 and is more than happy to walk you through the process.