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Guard Your Heart On Valentine’s Day with the Love of a Dog

Young woman with Golden Retriever

Feb. 14 2021

Pet Therapy Offers Heart Healthy Benefits

Dogs are affectionately called man’s best friend. But did you know their companionship also offers benefits for your heart health? Studies show a canine companion can help with everything from lowering blood pressure to reducing stress.

  • According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may help reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease:
  • Studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and resting heart rates than people who do not have a pet, even when they had a similar body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic profile.
  • Research shows dog owners are more likely to be physically active than non-dog owners -- tending to walk longer and more often.
  • A study found that younger children whose families owned a dog were less likely to be overweight or obese compared with children in families without a dog.
  • Additional research has found that pets lower stress and help heart patients live longer.
So, shake off some stress with the love of a dog.

Lexington Medical Center has a long-established program where certified pet therapy dogs visit patients in the hospital. The dogs are a popular and important part of Lexington Medical Center’s Volunteer Services department. Because of limits on visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pets aren’t visiting at this time. But Lexington Medical Center looks forward to the day when it can welcome its favorite four-legged volunteers back.

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.