How Having A Dog Can Actually Help You Lose Weight

We all love our fur babies and want to spend as much time as we can with them, and now there may be a reason to spend even more time playing with your pets. It turns out that owning a dog can actually make you healthier, both physically and mentally. Regardless of the weather, dogs can keep you at your best by getting you off of the couch and moving around (via MyFitnessPal). If dogs weren't already a human's best friend, they certainly are now!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that having a furry friend can have many benefits, including lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreased blood pressure, and improved mood. Both through the connection you have with your canine pal and through the active lifestyle dogs require to thrive, having a dog can lead you to be more active and in turn you'll see some great health results. For older adults, having a canine companion can lead to better cognitive function. As it turns out, most households in the United States own at least one pet. If you've been wanting to adopt that cute puppy at the shelter, consider this a sign to go for it!

You're more likely to meet fitness goals

Waking up to a dog who is ready to play is a great way to get you up and moving around. When you have a dog, who needs an alarm clock? Standing up and going for a walk with your dog, whether you go once or twice a day, can help you achieve fitness and health goals.

According to Mayo Clinic, the simple act of walking can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy number on the scale. Walking with your dog will keep their weight balanced, too! Walking regularly can also lead to a strengthened immune system, reduced stress, more energy, and the prevention of serious conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. The more you walk with your pet, the more endurance you'll find you have and the better your health is likely to be.

A 2019 study published in Scientific Reports found that on average, people who own dogs are four times as likely to reach physical activity guidelines as people who don't have canine companions. Dog owners also take an average of 2,000 more steps daily than people without dogs, and the increase in physical activity was almost solely due to the presence of a furry friend who requires daily walks. Not only can your canine friend be a companion, but they can also be a cheerleader on your physical fitness journey as they'll be right beside you (quite literally!) the entire way!