Dogs can be good for your health. A number of books and articles have been written to support this very idea. One study (Melbourne) reported that dog owners have lower risks of having high blood pressure, heart attacks, and overall stress. Furthermore, dogs have been known to warn their owners of impending health threats- including seizures and hypoglycemic episodes. Many canine owners experience and report varying levels of emotional support from their pet(s).
Without being a current pet owner, I have reaped the benefits of having a variety of four-legged friends to walk as a volunteer at my local animal shelter. Walking the puppies and dogs gives them needed exercise, a chance to stretch their legs. It also gives me something to look forward to. I know many of the dogs by name now.
Finally, it’s a joy to walk in my community with a number of like-minded volunteers. I add at least a mile to my daily step count when I am available and show up. Walking is a great form of exercise and helps increase overall wellness. I also enjoy continually meeting new neighbors.