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Studies show dogs truly are a human’s best friend

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – I have a dog. His name is Boone. I got him while I was working on my dissertation. I was never a big fan of my school’s library. I prefer to study and write in solitude. But as research and writing became more difficult, I found myself craving company. Sitting alone cramped in my 250 square foot New York City apartment was getting to me. I needed something–a living, breathing being–to keep me company as I worked through the final stretch. That’s when I decided to get a Boone.

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Dogs are incredible. It’s difficult to look back and think there was a time when he wasn’t in my life. I’m sure many of you feel the same about your own pets. They bring joy, companionship and love into our lives. And scientists now know dogs can transform a person’s life for the better, socially, physically and psychologically. Below is a list of just a few of them.

Improve psychological health

According to a study in the Journal of Aging and Health, our four legged friends provide numerous psychological benefits. From improving an owner’s quality of life and providing unconditional comfort and love. So, if you’re looking to remove stress and and add joy to your life consider a four-legged.

Promote healthy lifestyles

According to the same study, dog walking was seen as an “invaluable form of exercise” and linked to increased levels of physical activity in the sample studied compared to their levels prior to dog ownership. Ninety percent of those sampled reported walking their dogs at least once–sometimes twice–a day every day. Respondents also said while they didn’t always “wish to leave the house and walk, they were motivated by their dog to do so.”

Provide social support and companionship

In a different article published in Frontiers of Psychiatry, researchers assessed 500 participants and asked them questions about what kind of relationship they have with their dog. Almost 95% of respondents said they played games with their dogs while 88% reported having their dogs by their side while relaxing at least once a day. Seventy percent said they “told their dogs things they didn’t tell anyone else” and 80% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “my dog helps me get through tough times.”

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