A dog is a man’s best friend for many reasons – they are lovable and loyal but they can also keep you healthy. Here are a few ways dogs help keep you healthy!

  • Extra Exercise – Dogs need to be walked on average at least twice a day for 15 minutes each. Some dogs are more active and need you to take them out for longer or more frequent walks. This means that you are guaranteed at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can make a huge positive impact on your health.
  • Extra Love – A dog’s love is limitless. Your dog will love you no matter what as long as you treat them well. Dogs have been known to give your mood a boost by triggering the release of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These neurotransmitters make you healthier on an emotional level which also helps keep you more physically healthy.
  • Extra Immunity Boost – It’s been shown that having a dog around young children helps build up their immune system and lower their risk of eczema. A stronger immune system means your children will be healthier even as they get older.
  • Extra Assistance – A dog can be trained to help with a lot of medical issues. Dogs have been trained to alert parents or guardians when their owner has a seizure. They are capable of sensing the most subtle changes in a person’s body which can mean the difference between life and death. Dogs can also help motivate people who have diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis to move and distract them from pain.
  • Extra Responsibility – And not in a bad way! Dogs are great for teaching kids to be more responsible. They also help adults get on a more regular schedule which can greatly affect a person’s health. Caring for someone else teaches you how to care for yourself properly as well.

It’s National Dog Walking Week! If you don’t have a dog, consider adopting one to improve your life! If you have any foot or ankle related ailments, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center can help. Call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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