It's true! Your pup can actually lower your blood pressure. Dog owners are less likely to get heart disease, and because of the factors that go into owning dogs, they're likely to have a lot less health problems!
Why is this? For lots of reasons! Typically, you'll walk more when you own a dog, which is super heart-healthy. There's also the stress-soothing aspect of it - petting your pup feels good and helps you to relax and release tension, lowering that pesky blood pressure. It also puts you in a better mood, keeps you social and lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, and even premature death.
Check out some of the other ways dogs can reduce your blood pressure, signs your dog might be giving you that he can help, and even the science behind why dogs are blood pressure reducers!
Signs Your Dog Can Sense Your Blood Pressure
What signs might your dog be giving you to let you know that your blood pressure is off? It starts with some strange behavior on your pup's part. Cardiac alert dogs can be trained to let you know about your blood pressure levels and typically they'll become far more alert, pin their ears up, stand the hair on their back up, and stiffen their tails up.
There are also notable signs you might be giving off that your blood pressure is lower because of your dog - signs you might not even notice. For example, you might have more energy, feel refreshed throughout the day, have lower blood pressure scores when you visit your doctor for check-ups, and feel healthier overall.
- Ears up
- Jumping up
- Back hair on edge
- Stiff tail
- Acting on Edge
- Holding Their Tail Up
- Begging for Your Attention
- Out-of-Character Loud Barking
- Frantic or Anxious Behavior
Historical Reasons Dog Can Lower Blood Pressure
For example, owning a dog means more walking around, physical activity, and playing. All this exercise is great for your heart and your blood pressure. Studies even show that dog owners with serious, abnormal heart rhythms live longer than people with the same heart issues that don't have pets.
More than that, dogs put people in better moods and make them feel better, reducing stress. That's a huge factor in blood pressure - stress reduction! Petting your dog feels good and can help you release a relaxation hormone that cuts down your stress hormones.
The Science Behind Heart Health and Dogs
To study this, about 60 peoples' neural attitudes toward dogs were studied with factors such as tactual, verbal, and visual when dealing with canines. The test subjects' heart rates were all recorded during the experiment when dealing with dogs, and it was noted that touching and talking to the dogs appeared to be a major factor in a blood pressure reduction.
How to Train Your Dog - and Yourself - to Stay Heart-Healthy
Some of the best ways to do this are by making sure you and your dog are taking lots of walks together. Keep your dog on a strict walking and playing schedule to make sure the both of you are getting all the exercise you could need.
Practice keeping your pooch happy and healthy, too. The happier your dog is, the easier it is for you to also reap the healthy benefits your dog can offer you! Remember to feed the both of you a high-quality, species appropriate diet.
How to React to Your Dog Lowering Your Blood Pressure
First, give your dog a big hug for their help!
Keep your dog happy. A happy dog means a happy you, and a happy you is less stressed.
Continue taking your pup for regular walks to keep them healthy.
Keep your heart healthy on your own so you can be there for your dog and continue their heart-healthy effects on you.