Can Dogs Relieve Stress?

At. U.S. HealthWorks, we generally encourage our patients to keep healthy through proper nutrition and excercise.

But there are some things that go beyond that textbook advice that help our health tremendously.

My husband I have two dogs, Razz and Kipah. There’s nothing that makes me feel as great as when I’m sitting with Kipah on my lap, her head resting on my laptop, or when I’m snuggling under the covers with Razz.

I regularly take my dogs for walks, which not only helps me “de-stress” but also gives me some exercise.

I was reading this article recently, and research shows that having a dog actually lowers high blood pressure, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves general health.

“Dogs help us psychologically,” wrote Toyoharu Kojima, author of Legacy of the Dog. “Tests have shown that walking a dog, or just having one as a companion, effectively helps speed recovery from an illness and aid in rehabilitative efforts.”

The article also notes that a UCLA researcher studied 1,000 elderly people and found that those who owned a dog required 20 percent less medical care than people without a pet.

So if you’re looking for additional ways to keep healthy, getting a dog might just be the solution.

– Alesia J. Wagner, Regional Medical Director, Southern California

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