National Puppy Day and the Health Benefits of Pets

Mar 22, 2017

Sir Walter Scott wrote, “I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?” I think most dog owners would agree with this statement.

Today is National Puppy Day.

Adopting a puppy can often be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, that has health benefits as well. A Harvard Medical School Special Report entitled “Get Healthy, Get a Dog” was published in 2014 and details how owning a dog can prompt you to be more physically active and can also help you be calmer, more mindful, and more present in your life.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology states that “children raised with pets show many benefits. Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child's self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy.” The American Academy of Pediatrics found ​​​​​​​children who have a dog during the first year of life are reported to be healthier and have fewer respiratory infections than children without contact to these animals.

While all pets are good for your health, The Humane Society reminds us that adopting a dog can give you an extra boost because in addition to providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need!