April marks National Pet Month, celebrated as an appreciation of pet ownership. As a nation of dog lovers, more than 1 in 3 UK households own a dog, but many don’t fully appreciate all the physical and mental health benefits of owning a canine companion.

Dogs bring so much pleasure into people’s lives. Whether it’s the joyful greeting when their owners come home from work or the unconditional love they show, dogs are truly man’s best friend. And aside from giving people their undivided affection, owning a dog also has huge benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing.

“Studies reviewed by the American Heart Association provide strong evidence linking dog ownership with lower blood pressure, a better cholesterol profile and reduced risk of heart disease,” adds Alex Bennett, Head of Marketing at leading pet insurer petGuard. “National Pet Month is an ideal time to celebrate just how much our canine friends do for us.”

Here are just two great reasons why welcoming a new puppy could be beneficial:

Dogs can lower people’s blood pressure

Catching up with a good friend is great for reducing stress. It turns out that owning a dog can have the same calming effect on people every single day! Research reviewed by the American Heart Association has shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure than those who don’t own a dog.

The studies claim that lower blood pressure is a result of increased exercise and even affectionate actions such as dog petting. Owning a dog helps to release more oxytocin, the ‘cuddle hormone’ that relieves people of any stress.

Dogs can warn people of danger

There’s a reason why dogs are people’s best friend. They’ve always got their owners back. A dog’s sense of smell is around 40 times stronger than human’s and they’ve been working with people for so long that they know exactly when to sniff out danger.

It’s exactly because of their caring nature that so many dogs have specialist jobs. Medical conditions that dogs have been trained to sniff out include cancer, malaria, covid, and epilepsy.

People who suffer from epilepsy and other health issues release an odour which differs very, very slightly from that of a healthy human. Dogs can detect this change in scent and can alert their owner ahead of a seizure.


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