What’s one of the best things you can do for your heart? Get a dog. That’s the message from the American Heart Association. Consider the evidence:
Dog owners exercise more than people who don’t have dogs. They’re over 50-percent more likely to get the recommended 30-minutes of daily exercise, which helps keep the heart in great shape.
Petting a dog can lower your blood pressure, and your dogs’ too. In fact, several studies show that pet owners in general have lower blood pressure than people without pets.
Pet owners also handle stress better, even when their pets aren’t around.
And there’s another factor to consider, all the dirt and dander a dog brings into your home, may have a positive effect on health. Because touching and breathing in dirt, pollen and other allergens reduces levels of a compound called C-reactive protein. That’s a compound that’s strongly linked to heart disease.
Plus, the American Heart Association says, if you’re responsible enough to care for a pet, you’re probably more conscious of taking care of yourself too.