How a dog can make you healthy and happy | The Dog Effect

How a dog can make you healthy and happy

Getting a dog can provide you with companionship and unconditional love. There is no doubt that dog's are the ultimate loyal companion and there is nothing better than coming home after a long day and having a dog waiting for you at the door with a madly wagging tail. 

How a dog can keep you healthy

Our dogs rely on us to care for them, provide them with shelter, food, water and health care.  Yes, we need to take care of our dogs but did you know that our dogs are actually taking care of us?   Yep! they are probably doing us more good than we are doing them.​

Here are the 9 Medical Specialists that you may not need to see if you own a dog.   

1. Cardiologist Dog

Dogs are good for your heart. it has been proven that dogs can reduce cardiovascular disease. Dr. Glenn N. Levine, a cardiologist with the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston says that over the last decade or so there have been periodic reports on the association between pet ownership and cardiovascular risk.

It is recommended that we walk our dogs at least 30 minutes each day to ensure they have good heathy and a healthy weight. Similarly, it is recommended that we exercise at least 30 minutes a day to maintain our own heart health. Dr Dog will ensure that we get the recommended exercise a day to maintain a healthy heart.

2. Psychologist Dog

Dogs are known to reduce many concerns including anxiety, stress, phobias and depression.  Dogs are being used widely for Pet Therapy and includes having dogs comfort people in hospitals, dental clinics, age care facilities during counselling or in  courtrooms. Dogs can be a fantastic companion and are known for having a calming effect to improve mood. WebMD details the ways that a dog helps with mental health:

  • Uncomplicated love
  • Responsibility
  • Activity
  • Routine
  • Companionship
  • Social Interaction
  • Touch
  • ​Better health

3. Oncologist

Dogs are being used to save lives by detecting cancer early enough to give the best possible chance of survival.​ A dog's incredible sense of smell can detect changes in your bodies chemical make-up.

Scientist, Dr. James Walker of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, documented the power of a dog’s nose in 2002. Dr. Walker documented that a dog can smell 100,000 times better than a human with about 300 million receptors in their noseDogs are being trained to detect this chemical change and save our lives.

4. Physical therapist

Dogs need exercise to maintain physical condition and this helps us to keep fit and healthy.  Dogs require a good 30 minute twice a day so make the perfect exercise companion to keep us in peak physical shape.

5. Immunologist

Research shows that dogs in the home can reduce the childhood allergies. A dog will bring in all sorts of bugs and germs from outside which can help to boost our immune system.

6. Psychiatrist​

Mental health is a growing concern and dogs have proven themselves to improve mental health conditions.


Dogs are being very effective in helping with the sensory issues associated with Autism.  Dogs can help children with Autism by getting them used to the feel, sound and smell which reduced sensitivity.


There has been some amazing work with dogs assisting returned soldiers with PTSD. Watch the inspiring story of Ricochet the surf dog.


Children with ADHD are said to benefit form owning a dog as it encourages a schedule for them to work to. Dogs must be fed, walked and bathed. It helps kids learn to be responsible.​

Being active and playing with a dog will help active kids expel that excess energy​,  keep fit and aid them to concentrate. says that parents are often trying to calm kids with ADHD down or reprimanding them. A pet is a great listener, offers unconditional love and will not criticize a child for having too much energy. This can aid a child'€™s self-confidence.

7. Geriatric Doctor

Later in life, people may lose loved ones and become lonely and depressed.  They often have reduced mobility. Getting a suitable dog can bring new love and motivation to older people and can extend quality of life.  Getting a dog in later life will increase social interaction, physical activity and definately improve health.

If you ever wondered how getting a dog can make you healthier, then this might just convince you that dogs really are our best friend, companion, doctor and happiness advisor.

8. Endocrinologist

​A dogs acute sense of smell can detect changes in blood glucose levels and can be trained to alert their human of potential harm and the need to take action immediately. Some dogs seem to do this instinctively and many more are being trained as service dogs to help diabetics.

​9. Orthopedist

Have you heard the saying "Move it or lose it"?​ A dog will get you moving and exercise helps with bone health to improve bone strength and density. Osteoporosis can be a serious concern as we age and the porosity of bones will lead to weakness, broken bones and immobility. A dogs is the best motivation to get you out exercising and improving your bones.

If you looking to get healthy, perhaps a dog can go along way to helping you out? 


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