The Surprising Benefits Of Walking A Dog

By Ben Hamill - December 07, 2019
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It’s no secret that having a best friend is damn good for the soul, especially if that best friend has a furry coat and loves to play fetch. The benefits of dog ownership have been comprehensively documented. Not only are dogs beneficial in many respects; from being conducive to good heart health to lifting feelings of depression and/or loneliness; but they also help us to keep fit and moving. The bottom-line is this: having a canine friend will add significant meaning to your life.

It is however also a reality that not everyone is able to give a dog a home. The potential reasons for this are many; contributing factors may include not being able to afford one, often working away from home, or even not being up to taking on a permanent responsibility. But the good news is that one doesn’t have to actually own a pooch in order to benefit from the so-called “dog around the house”. Because even just spending a couple of hours every week walking a friend or relative’s dog, or even a furry resident at a local shelter, will already do wonders for the heart and the body.

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Shaking Off The Stress And Tired

One of the most significant benefits of spending time with a dog (or two!) is that dogs are super-effective stress relievers. So much so that trusty canines all over the world trained as service dogs are helping folks cope with PTSD every day. There’s no arguing the fact that there’s just something truly special and very relaxing about being around dogs.

The obvious cardio-health and even anti-aging benefits of a regular stroll aside, it’s commonly accepted that being out and about in nature will finish the task started by a trusty pooch. Being in contact with nature relieves stress in a major big way, improves cardiovascular health and lowers high blood pressure. Nature is basically the stuff that all-found-feel-good is made of. And walking a dog will help get you there.

No Longer Alone

Another big benefit of regularly walking a dog is the likelihood of meeting other people doing the same. And that’s not to say you’re supposed to, or even likely to, become close friends with all of them. The possibility of this happening certainly does exist, but just by meeting other likeminded individuals, one already tends to feel less isolated. It’s about a subtle recognition: I see you and you see me, and we’re all in this together.

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