Secret Side Effects of Owning a Dog

1 Owning a Dog Can Extend Your Life

Bringing a new pup into the home can certainly enrich our lives, but there's some significant research suggesting dogs can also extend our lives. Research conducted in Sweden and published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular problems or all causes over a 12-year followup period.

2 Owning a Dog Helps You Sleep

Sleep is increasingly elusive these days for so many of us. And while plenty of dog owners will tell you that it's a bad idea to let your dog into the bedroom, a study put together by the Mayo Clinic says letting your dog sleep in your bedroom may actually improve sleep efficiency.

3 Owning a Dog Will Make You More Active

Whether or not you enjoy long walks, if you own a dog, you're going to have to put in some serious footwork to keep your pup physically content. Dogs, unlike many humans, aren't happy to spend all day every day lounging around. Our canine friends may crave our attention, but they crave exercise just as much.

4 Owning a Dog Will Lower Your Stress Levels

There are endless advertised ways to overcome stress, from meditation to dietary supplements, but the simplest stress solution may be owning a dog. A study released by Washington State University reports just 10 minutes spent petting a dog (or cat) helped stressed out college kids calm down and improve their mood.