In keeping with studies, having a dog as a companion could add years to your life. One study concluded that owning a dog played a big role on survival rates in heart attack victims. In one other considered one of these studies, patients were evaluated for one yr after they’d been admitted to the hospital. It was discovered by Researchers that the patients who were alive one yr after having a heart attack were more more likely to own a dog.
By way of determining the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival, one other study that focused on the highest psychological aspects that contributed to the recovery of patients with heart-disease, ranked pet ownership on top. Studies have also shown dogs can have a soothing influence that in turn helps to maintain blood pressure levels in a healthy range. 
Dr Deborah Wells a psychologist from Queen’s University, Belfast, writing within the British Journal of Health Psychology said dog owners tended to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol. After reviewing dozens of earlier research papers which explored the health advantages of pet ownership she confirmed that pet owners tended on the whole to be healthier than the common member of the population.
Nevertheless, her research suggested that dog ownership produced more positive influence than cat ownership. In addition to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, she said dog-owners suffered fewer minor ailments and serious medical problems. There was also the suggestion that dogs could aid recovery from serious illnesses similar to heart attacks, and act as ‘early warning’ to detect an approaching epileptic seizure. 
In actual fact, the State University of Latest York at Buffalo conducted a study which involved 24 stockbrokers that were taking prescription medication for hypertension. Researchers determined that adding a dog or cat to the stock brokers’ lives helped stabilize and even reduce their levels of stress.
In other research conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia studies suggested that there are hormonal changes that occur when humans and dogs interact which could help people deal with depression and certain stress-related disorders. Apparently the straightforward act of taking just a few minutes to pet your dog prompts a release of a lot of “feel good” hormones in humans, including serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin.
Other studies showed that the presence of animals, especially dogs, helped to scale back the anxiety of individuals confronting stressful situations, similar to dental surgery. Separate studies reported that walking a dog can’t only contribute to an individual’s weight reduction but will also be a catalyst for interaction with other people, which can assist improve an individual’s sense of well-being.
Most studies show therapy using dogs to be one of the crucial cost-effective methods of helping people affected by emotional challenges and state that folks living without pets are exposed to “more persistent fears, increased feelings of panic, experience more frequent headaches and take more medication for stress-induced illnesses than pet owners”.
In actual fact the Siskin Hospital in Tennessee has a “Pet Therapy” program to help in rehabilitation. They state: “The Pet Therapy Program uses rigorously screened dogs and cats as an integral a part of physical, speech, recreational and occupational therapies to handle treatment goals including improving range of motion, strength and endurance, balance, mobility, and sensation. Along with the physical advantages of pet therapy, patients form a reference to the animal; reducing stress and constructing self-esteem through the animals’ unconditional acceptance”. 
So next time you begin feeling stressed or overwhelmed go spend a while together with your dog and if you happen to haven’t got a dog you might want to think about getting one. Perhaps you may get your doctor to prescribe a dog for you and get your medical insurance to pay for it. Just kidding.