Another Reason Your Dog Deserves the Best: Heart Healthy Benefits of Dog Ownership

Here at BARF® World, we think all dogs are good dogs who deserve the best. That is why we have developed a nutritionally balanced line of healthy food and treats that place the emphasis on the best raw food nutrition your dog could ask for.

Susan Elber · March 31, 2020

Another Reason Your Dog Deserves the Best:

Heart Healthy Benefits of Dog Ownership

Here at BARF® World, we think all dogs are good dogs who deserve the best. That is why we have developed a nutritionally balanced line of healthy food and treats that place the emphasis on the best raw food nutrition your dog could ask for.

For those that need a little convincing, however, that our faithful canine companions deserve the very best, consider for a moment one way they benefit our lives: improved heart health.

That’s right! In addition to providing us with unconditional love, emotional support, and an appreciation for the true joy that life has to offer, our furry friends actually make us healthier. Let’s take a quick dive into a few of the major ways that research has shown how dog ownership benefits heart health.

Lower Blood Pressure and Heart Rates – The Calming Effect of Dogs

Several studies have repeatedly demonstrated that petting or interacting with dogs lowers both heart rate and blood pressure, two of the most important indicators of heart health. Many of us have probably experienced this effect without even realizing it.

The human canine bond has been long in the making. In fact, new research points to data which shows that dogs may have entered our lives as domesticated partners as early as 28,500 years ago. That’s the Ice Age, folks!

Having coevolved with our canine companions for so long, it is no surprise that our bodies have learned to “tune-in” to each other’s companionship. As social animals, both human and dogs benefit each other, and heart rate and blood pressure are just two of the positive benefits of our ongoing partnership.

Higher Activity Levels – Get Off the Couch!

The fact that our dogs have exercise needs of their own is one of the best reasons most of us can think of to get off the couch and get out into the fresh air. While driving to the gym or getting on the treadmill is often met with endless excuses to put off exercise, walking our dog is a form of exercise that just can’t wait, learn more here.

The cardiovascular benefits of getting more aerobic exercise, such as walking and jogging with our dogs, is one of the ways that our canine companions improve our health just by being in our lives.

In fact, several research studies have demonstrated that dog owners get in more exercise than non-dog owners. These increased activity levels have even encouraged some policy makers to encourage dog friendly neighborhoods to take advantage of these heart healthy benefits on a larger social scale.

Lower Stress Levels – Fido Says: “Chill!”

One of the ways that scientists measure stress in the body is through the levels of certain chemical markers in the blood. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol in the body, particularly over the long term, has a negative impact on heart health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

On the other hand, oxytocin, a hormone associated with calm, joy, and feelings of wellbeing has a positive effect on the circulatory system as well as immunity, mood, and more specifically, overall heart health.

Several studies on dogs and humans have shown that levels of cortisol drop and levels of oxytocin increase for both humans and dogs when we spend time together. Just another piece of evidence that shows we were meant to be together!

Recovery After Heart Attack or Stroke – Canines Save Lives

Finally, dogs may actually be saving lives just by offering their loyalty, unconditional love, and calming presence. A recent study took the medical establishment by storm after demonstrating that dog owners had significantly higher survival rates and lower rates of rehospitalizations after major coronary events including heart attack and stroke.

The stunning results are extraordinary: Dog owners had a 33% lower risk of early death after a heart attack and 27% reduced risk of early death after a stroke compared to people living alone. Compared to their non-dog owning counterparts, dog owners had a “24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and a 31% lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke”.

Your Dog Deserves the Best

Maybe you did not need another reason to make sure your dog gets the best. Afterall, if you are already doing your research on bone and raw food diets for dogs, then you already “get it.”

But just in case you needed another reason to spend a little more time and money over the cheap food and snacks full of fillers and preservatives available in the grocery store, we hope this article will help you take the plunge and give a raw food diet a try for your furry friend. After all, they deserve it!

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Susan Elber

Susan is a professional writer with a Masters in Science Studies from Virginia State University, she has also worked as a professional dog trainer for over ten years.

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!