When you think of pets, you probably picture a furry friend that warms your heart. But dogs don’t just make you smile; they can also help your health in several ways.
Among many benefits, owning a dog can help lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. In fact, the American Heart Association lists it as one of the top benefits of dog ownership.
1. It’s not good for your heart
Having a dog is no doubt a nice perk, but it’s not always good for your health. As with humans, there are risks associated with owning a dog, including heart disease.
While there are many ways you can help keep your heart healthy, one of the best is to make smarter food choices. The right mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans can go a long way towards keeping your heart healthy and happy.
2. It’s not good for your bones
If you want to keep your bones strong and healthy, you need to do more than just eat the right amount of calcium and vitamin D. You also need to get enough exercise and avoid certain habits that can weaken your bones, like smoking and drinking alcohol.
Dogs have a lot of hard, brittle teeth that can easily break if they chew on a bone. This is especially true for harder and denser bones, such as a femur or a marrow bone.
3. It’s not good for your eyes
Having a dog is not only fun, it can also be good for your health. A study found that people with dogs had a lower risk of dying from heart disease and other causes than those without them.
A diet rich in saturated fat – found in butter, cheese, red meat, tropical oils and processed foods – raises blood cholesterol levels, which can cause heart disease.
A diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy sources of protein is recommended. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake to 5 to 6 percent of calories daily.
4. It’s not good for your ears
The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is one of the most ubiquitous and popular domestic animals in the world. It is a descendant of the wolf, and has been around for more than 12,000 years as a hunting companion, protector, object of adoration, and friend.
The ear is a complex organ that houses a surprisingly large number of sensors. However, it’s not immune to the ravages of time and adversity. Among the canine population, a surprising number of dogs have chronic or recurrent ear infections, often in the form of swimmer’s ear. Thankfully, these ailments can be prevented or managed through proper care and treatment.
5. It’s not good for your skin
The best way to maintain healthy skin is to consume a diet that supports your skin’s natural elasticity. This means avoiding foods that dehydrate your epidermis, such as alcohol, and eating a balanced mix of whole, plant-based foods rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients.
For your dog, it’s also best to avoid processed meats and high glycemic foods, such as those found in ketchup and booze-infused treats. This is because these items contain nitrates and sodium, both of which can damage your skin’s collagen strands and cause wrinkles.
6. It’s not good for your teeth
There are a lot of things that go into the health of our teeth. The foods we eat, the drinks we drink, and how often we eat all contribute to tooth decay.
When it comes to food, the key is to limit your intake of sugary and starchy foods. These are particularly bad for your teeth because they provide energy for bacteria that thrive in your mouth.
Instead, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins A, C and D, calcium, and phosphorus. Nuts are also great sources of these nutrients and can help fight tooth decay, especially almonds and peanuts.