You had a long, hard day at work. Your body aches in muscles you never knew you had. The couch looks soft and plush—the perfect place to rest your weary bones. And the moment you sink into the cushions, Max crawls up beside you and rests his head in your lap. At this point, you might not realize that you’re providing yourself with some important self-care. You see, Goldendoodles benefit health.
With gentle, even strokes, you pet his cream-colored coat and all the curls. Occasionally, you even give him a good scratch on the top of his head. Soon, all the worries and cares that weighed heavily on your shoulders have dissipated into nothing but distant memories.
How can this be? All you did was sit on the couch. The only thing introduced into your surroundings was your loyal Goldendoodle. Your buddy and best friend since he was a puppy. But there is actual science that can explain this.
Dogs help you live longer
Scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden—which holds the distinction of being the oldest university in the country—conducted a study of over 3.4 million adults. They discovered that dog owners lived longer than people without a companion in the household. The study took place over 12 years.
Cardiovascular disease kills more people around the globe than any other single killer. That number in Europe was over 45% of all deaths in 2016—the year before the study was released. The researchers determined that dogs provided social support as well as increased motivation for physical activity.
Owning a dog reduces the health problems associated with isolation, depression, and loneliness, according to the study. In other words, a dog makes a great companion and comes with health benefits.
The science behind it
Other studies have reported similar findings. Children often suffer stress and its harmful effects as much as adults do. Researchers at the University of Florida in a study published in the journal Social Development in 2016 found that children left alone suffered an increase in cortisol production—the stress hormone.
However, the presence of a pet dog significantly reduced perceived stressors. And when the children petted the dog, cortisol production was reduced. The researchers concluded that dogs offer a buffer to stress in children, providing socio-emotional benefits.
A study of California residents, comparing dog owners to cat owners and to non-pet owners, discovered that dog owners walked almost twenty minutes more per week than cat and non-pet owners. This increase in physical activity provides health benefits and reduces risk factors.
Goldendoodles are the perfect health benefit
Goldendoodles love to play. They love to run, play fetch, and catch Frisbees. They enjoy long walks with their companions. Goldendoodles flourish in the outdoors and getting 20-30 minutes of exercise every day.
This is only going to reduce your risk if you do it with them. Max is a great companion to sit with you on the couch after a long day, but he is also going to want to go on hikes, take frequent walks, and even go swimming. If you experience those events with him, it benefits you even more.