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Benefits of sharing your life with a dog

Have you ever wondered how you might explain to others the bond you share with your dog? Well wonder no longer since that special bond has been officially recognised by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 2006 as “a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and other animals that is influenced by behaviours that are essential to the health and well-being of both”. As simple as that!

After adopting a dog, people generally tend to observe a number of improvements in their day-to-day lives; they report fewer headaches and colds, and are generally in a better mood. So is it a perception or a reality? In order to explore and reveal the true benefits your relationship with your dog brings to you, the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition have conducted scientific studies, which have led to many publications, on the link between dogs and health benefits.

Learn the benefits of owning a dog- Perfect Fit


Why is having a dog good for you?

Here are 8 amazing benefits of having a dog in your life: 1 2 3

  • So you’ve grown up with a dog by your side :

    Well that's a bonus! Growing up with dogs during one's childhood reduces the likelihood of developing allergies and asthma, therefore directly enhancing one’s immune system from an early age. And as if that wasn’t enough, studies reveal that children aged 5 to 8 who grow up with a dog attend, on average, 3 more weeks of school than those without a dog at home 4 .

  • We all know that regular physical activity improves overall health :

    And it has been further demonstrated that walking your dog enables you to meet or even exceed the recommended levels of exercise thus contributing to your wellbeing. In fact, it increases your walking time by over 30 minutes per week. And let us not forget the positive impact walking has on your morale and on your physical condition! So get out there and walk your dog; for his pleasure, for his fitness and for your health.

  • Reducing the risks of cardiovascular complications :

    A dog by your side significantly reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels to such an extent that dog owners who suffer a heart attack see their survival rate to one year later increase by 22% compared with those not owning a dog. So take the time to stroke, cuddle and look after your soothing friend!

  • Your dog is your anti-stress coach :

    Physical contact with your dog goes a long way towards reducing stress levels and arterial pressure. On top of which physical contact with your close friend naturally triggers sensations of pleasure and wellbeing. Your personalised relaxation therapy never felt so close!

  • Better self esteem :

    Whoever you are and whatever your situation, the feeling of taking care of your faithful companion is a warming, comforting and confidence-building feeling. It's a wonderful thing to feel needed!

  • Feeling good with others :

    It is through encounters with others that you will notice the positive impact your dog has on your social relationships. Very often, contact with strangers becomes easier, conversations start more spontaneously and smiling feels more natural. And if you live alone, your overly social four-legged friend will undoubtedly help you create friendly bonds with other walkers!

  • Keeping in touch with the older generations :

    The presence of dogs amongst elderly people goes a long way towards tackling depression, especially when contacts with family or friends, become fewer and farther apart.

  • Canine therapy is more and more recommended :

    As a way to connect with those suffering particularly from mental illnesses, autism or Alzheimers. And let us not forget the remarkable job our guide dogs do for people who are disabled and visually impaired. So yes, our canine friends possess a vast variety of qualities each more rewarding than the other.

How about that for advantages? Your dog fully contributes to your quality of life and to that of your nearest and dearest. The one condition for all of these mutual benefits: your dog’s happiness and fulfilment! Whether it is the healthy meals, socialisation and exercise, or education through play looking after your dog's wellbeing will help you both enjoy and enhance this unique relationship.

  • 1 The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition. https://www.waltham.com/waltham-research/hai-research/
  • 2 WALTHAM ® pocket book of human-animal interactions. January 2012. Publisher: Beyond Design Solutions Ltd, Editor: James A. Serpell, Sandra McCune. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.1417.9528
  • 3 Chien Santé. March-April 2015. Supplement to the “Chiens 2000 spécial Chiots et Vetlife”.
  • 4 McNicholas, J. et al. (2004). Proc. of 10th IAHAIO conference.



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