Dirty dog, healthy home

Howard Baker - RN BSN

There are few relationships in life as strong and unconditional as the bond with our pets. Our pets accept us unconditionally even if we are fat, skinny, sick, healthy, moody and are there to bring us joy through thick and thin in the best and worst of times. Because of our pet’s strong unconditional bond, they become a significant extension of our family and our health.

The devoted unconditional companionship we build with our pets is only the beginning of the benefits we reap from a human animal bond. According to Mayo Clinic cancer specialist, Dr. Edward Creagan, “seniors with pets have 21 percent fewer physician visits, lower blood pressure and better coping skills.” The U S Department of Health concluded pets increased survival rates of heart attack victims by 28 percent vs. only 6 percent for non-pet owners. Other health benefits of pet ownership include: decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels and the feelings of loneliness while increasing opportunities for exercise, socialization and outdoor activities.

According to Dr. Robynne Chutkan a leading gastroenterologist supports in her new book, The Microbiome Solution, that living with dogs has many benefits to our mental and physical well-being. In the hyper clean society we live in there are no shortages of commercial advertising convincing us of our need for antibacterial products to clean everything from our hands to carpets. Have we taken clean too far—maybe? Antibacterial products do not discriminate they kill all bacteria good or bad. Many health-promoting microbes come from soil, and untreated unfiltered water, which can be transferred from our dogs to us. Dr. Chutkan’s research is cutting-edge and a good read for anyone wanting a deeper understanding and effective plan for replenishing microbiomes.

There are numerous research studies proving dogs in our homes improve our lives. A 2013 study led by the University of California and the University of Michigan show how household dogs can help protect against asthma in children.

The evidence is clear living with dogs can improve our lives mentally and physically. It is easy to see how our four-legged family members do more than boost our health—they boost our spirits and social interactions. Dogs bring us more than joy they bring us health. If you don’t have a dog in your life maybe it’s time to think about sharing your life with a dog — it’s a decision you won’t regret. A dirty dog a healthy home, according to the research it might be the best thing you ever do for your home.

I can tell you one thing for sure — a dog will fill every nook and cranny of your home and your heart, please consider adopting a pet from your local shelter. The dog you rescue might be the dog that rescues you.

Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]


Howard Baker


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