International Dog Day: Pups prove beneficial for health

New research links owning a dog to improved heart health

With Monday the 26th bringing the 15th International Dog Day, many are celebrating their furry four legged friends. Research released today has unveiled the true extent of how having a dog can benefit your health. The Kardiozive Brno 2030 study has found that compared with owners of other pets, dog owners were more likely to report physical activity and good diet. The sample consisted of over 2000 people who were examined across a five year period in the Czech Republic.

Owning a dog has many benefits for both physical and mental health. They have been shown to help with stress, with some universities providing dogs for students to play with during the manic exam period and are also a great help for those suffering with loneliness. Physically, having a dog encourages owners to get out of the house and go for walks where not only are they stretching their legs and getting exercise, but also getting fresh air and, on a good day, sunshine which is beneficial for both physical and mental wellbeing.

Britain has the second highest dog population, with approximately 9 million dogs currently being owned by 24% of British adults. We also love to spoil our pups, with it being reported that the UK spends £10 billion a year on their dogs. It is important to remember that dogs do not just serve as pets with over 7,000 disabled people in the UK relying on assistance dogs to help with practical tasks - offering emotional support and independence.

They may be referred to as man's best friend, but it seems that many Brits are seeing their pets more like family members than animals. In a recent survey of British millennials, 62% of dog owners love their pup as much as their family with 50% of dog owners buying Christmas and birthday presents for their furry friend.

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