Scientists in Tokyo recently discovered that owning a dog of any breed. Reduces the risk of dementia in older people by 40%.As it increases the chances of getting out of the house, which leads to more interaction with other people and results in brain exercise.
Although owners may complain of cold, wet dog walks, they are doing well. A 2017 study was published in the journal BMC Public Health Examined the influence of dog ownership among older adults. It found that canine owners spent an extra 22 minutes walking each day, took 2,760 more steps a day, and sat significantly less. Additionally, a 2019 thesis in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that dog owners were four times more likely to meet the guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week than their non-owning counterparts, and were also more likely to walk without their dog. Additional exercise has the positive effect of burning more calories and better sleep. “I need to get another dog,” a friend told me sadly this week. “My health is worse without one – I’m not exercising enough anymore.”
Mental health in older adults can also be boosted by a four-legged friend, as a 2019 study highlights. Journal of Aging and Mental Healthwho found that dogs provided companionship, a sense of purpose and meaning, reduced loneliness and increased socialization.
That was the case for Otti and Brian Hubbard, who got their rescue dog Lily when they took their dog with them. “We came across a house with no dog bowls and it felt like the spirit of our house had been torn away,” says Otti (64). Brian, 66, had recently retired, while Ottey continued to commute from Hereford to London two days a week. Lily keeps Brian company while his wife is away and out in the sun. “She sleeps under our bed, and every morning she comes out wagging her tail, so happy to see you – no strings attached.” Lily keeps them fit and healthy, giving them two long walks a day. The dog’s location tracker on his collar has provided an unexpected bonus for Otti: “I can see where Brian is at all times.”
Professor Daniel Mills, one of the authors of the 2017 study, agrees. Dog ownership They say it offers “safety, security and consistency”. “You can trust your pets, and know they won’t let you down.”
Dogs have also been found to positively affect children, when it comes to anxiety levels and blood pressure and heart rates. “It is well recognized that people view pets as members of the family, particularly in Western cultures,” says Professor Mills. “Our dog smiles and talks to us when we walk in the door,” says my friend Macon Greenamire of her pet Orly. The girls come home and go straight to it, especially our youngest. This is his downtime after school. We’ve always had dogs, and kids always go to them when they’re stressed.
Seeing my newly acquired dog – currently chewing up the house while we wait for his final vaccinations and to be allowed outside – I am able to take him out for long walks. Looking forward to it. But she can also be a source of trouble: the first day, she chewed the Ethernet cable, the second day, she chewed all over the curtains. However, she is much less stressed than our late cat, who gave my son fleas, got stuck in a tree for two days and finally disappeared, much to the chagrin of us all, and Then when we found out she ran away.