#InternationalDogDay - What are the health benefits of owning a dog?

Owning a dog can bring so much joy and love into a household, but did you know that owning a dog is also good for your health?

This #InternationalDogDay, you can read all about the physical, mental and social health benefits of owning a dog below!

The CDC says that owning a dog can help to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This will contribute to overall better heart health as well as meaning fewer heart attacks. Even petting a dog is enough to lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

Dog owners are also much more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise every week than non-dog owners. This is especially helpful for older members of the population who experience better health outcomes and visit their doctor around 30% less frequently than their non-dog walking counterparts.

There are great benefits for children who grow up with a dog in the house as well.

Numerous studies have shown that children who grow up around a dog have an overall immune-boosting benefit which leads to a decreased risk of asthma and allergies. A recent study also revealed that children are more empathetic when they grow up with a dog in the house.

If you own a dog, no doubt you already know how your furry friend always seems to bring a smile to your face no matter how horrible your day was. Reports confirm that dog owners are less prone to feelings of loneliness and depression and simply looking at your dog can increase levels of the "feel-good" chemical, oxytocin, in the brain.

Dog owners have also been shown to be more social and what better way to start a conversation with a stranger than talking about your dog. Apparently, being a dog owner means you are more trustworthy as well.

We would love to hear why you think owning a dog is great for your health in the comments below.