Dog Ownership and Heart Health: A Great Therapy

SYoung Health Guide
  • Got heart disease?  Get a dog.  Need to up your exercise routine per your doctor's orders?  Again, get a dog.  Have the space?  Definitely get a dog.  Why am I pushing dogs you ask?  Well, I have found my dog to be the best drill sergeant and trainer I have ever had and the effects on my cholesterol and overall heart health have been very positive.  If you aren't allergic to dogs and have space and time in your life and in your heart, I highly encourage you to adopt one. 

     

    My wife and I adopted a cute dog from the Homeless Animal Rescue Team group in Northern Virginia approximately two years ago.  We fell in love with his jumping, his antics, his adorable face, and his super cute curled tail.  Well, our canine co-pilot ended up being one of the most energetic dogs we have ever had, and we have owned Siberian Huskies.  So, we are used to high-energy.  At first, this appeared as if it was going to be a problem for us as furniture was eaten, floors were scratched, and shoes were destroyed.  As the dog whisperer, Cesar Milan says, a dog without energy is a dog you can train so exercise, exercise, exercise.  So, we did.  We exercised him.

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    We began to walk and then to run sometimes three times per day.  As we did this, we began to notice something very interesting and very positive.  First, quick, significant weight loss and then, we also noticed improvements in our overall physical condition and improved our health.  We also discovered that it can be really fun to walk in the rain, in the snow, on trails in the heat, and on those dark nights in the winter.  So, not only did we change our bodies as a result of dog walking, we also changed our outlooks and boosted our moods in the process.  We have also met a whole bunch of new people-most of whom are terrified of our insane dog, but that's another story.

     

    Our wonderful canine companion wakes us up early every morning with his reveille of barks and does not let us dilly dally over coffee for too long before he brings us our running shoes.  After work at night, he is there again, providing canine motivation for an evening jaunt, which no matter how tired we are or reluctant, always turns out to be so much worth the effort. 

     

    As a result of exercise training our dog, we have exercise trained ourselves all of which has helped me lower my bad cholesterol and increase my good cholesterol naturally and lower my blood pressure in the process. 

     

    Dogs obviously aren't for everyone, but I do have to share that mine is invaluable to me and my cardiovascular health.  Unwittingly, I have become the trained as well as the trainer-all due to one snap decision at a dog fair.  I am never looking back.

Published On: July 05, 2011