Health Benefits of Owning a Dog & Best Dogs for an Active Life

health benefits of owning a dog
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If you need some motivation to become more active, walk more each day, and some friendly support to help you become healthier, owning a dog might be a perfect choice for you!

Owning a dog is a responsibility, but it can also provide you with a lot of benefits as well!

How Can Owning a Dog Make You Healthier?

Here are a few of the main ways that owning a dog can help you become healthier:

Helps With Weight Control:

One of the main health benefits of owning a dog is weight control, since you will instantly become more active the second you get your dog. Not only will you have to take them on walks each day, and you can easily walk up to 3 miles a day, but you will be active chasing them all around your house!

If you don’t have a fence for your property, electronic dog fences are wireless and can be easily installed, or you can take it upon yourself to make sure your dog is running enough each day without just “letting them out” to run on their own.

As another example, you can arrange dog stairs, which will help your dog to get on the high places like the bed or sofa, or you can put in the extra effort and pick them up and put them places, which will build some muscle and burn a lot of calories.

Along with that, you also have to spend a lot of time grooming your dog! You can even make grooming your dog part of your weekly “house cleaning workout.” Dog grooming requires the use of some essential tools, and you’ll even have to use shampoo or soap to do a  complete job.

Assuming that you don’t over eat to off-set the new amount of calories you will burn, owning a dog is a great way to lose weight!

Help to Control Destructive Behavior:

If you own a dog, it will become much easier to control your destructive behaviors. Owning a dog might not be a natural remedy for drug addiction, but if you’re overwhelmed with love and support from a furry companion each day, you will certainly think twice about doing things that are unhealthy and bad for you.

For example, if you find it hard to continue to eat a healthy diet and you’re someone who eats too many unhealthy snacks, you can buy your dog healthy snacks at a dog health-food store like Innovetpet, and buy yourself something healthy to match to keep yourself focused on getting healthy and staying healthy! You’ll find that it’s a lot easier to keep yourself eating quality food when you’re feeding your dog quality food and treats.

Not only that, but dog’s provide positive emotions such as love and happiness, which can help your mental health in a variety of ways as well.

Lowers Stress Levels

Owning a dog may lower stress levels in a couple of key ways.

Walking itself is one of the best stress reducers. Along with that, while you will walk with your dog, you will probably meet with other dog owners and spend some quality time with them as well, which is great for your mental health.

Furthermore, as I said before, dogs provide a ton of positive emotion.

Overall, owning a dog is a great natural remedy for stress!

Control Arthritis Pain

Regular walking can help you manage arthritis or other forms of joint pain. Walking helps reduce inflammation throughout your body, and its very helpful for your general health overall.

If you suffer from arthritis, owning a dog can keep you active and help reduce the painful symptoms you are experiencing!

The Best Dog Breeds to Own for Staying Active and Healthy

A dog can be a great motivator to keep you in shape.

However, you must consider the decision carefully, since a dog is a long commitment. But in the end, after all, there’s no finer companion while you’re running, hiking, or generally enjoying getting outside of the home.

A dog that helps promote an active lifestyle is a great pet, so if you’re in the market to keep in shape while enjoying some canine company, here are some of the best breeds to keep you moving:

Border Collie

The Border Collie is famously one of the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet. However, intelligence in dogs means that they require a lot more exercise than most other canines to keep them from inventing their own “exciting” games around the house in your absence.

Unlike some of the other highly intelligent breeds of dog which are out there, Border Collies are also extremely agile and have high endurance levels. This makes them a great companion for hiking and jogging.

They also consistently score highly in agility trials and other dog sports, so you can turn their high energy levels and prize-winning personality into an award-winning animal with the right training.

If you’re trying to stay active and want a dog to accompany you on the journey, then a Border Collie may be exactly the companion you’ve been looking for this entire time.

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans are a bit intimidating, but the breed is actually a friendly, active dog when they’re raised properly. When properly socialized, they’re able to participate in any dog sport. They make great running or hiking partners, and just testing the limits of their intelligence can be an excellent sport for their owners.

Dobermans aren’t suitable for everyone, of course. Training them requires a firm hand and it really is best to raise them from a pup to ensure that they have the right temperament to be an active companion.

Still, while they often find themselves used as police dogs or search and rescue canines, they have a place in the right home. Just do your research before you decide to invest in one of these magnificent canines!

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is actually an American cattle dog, despite its name. Because of their high intelligence, friendly demeanor, and generally high energy levels, they’re perfect for those looking to remain active.

Whether it’s a long hike, a jog, or just a vigorous game of fetch, you’ll be able to enjoy time with a dog of this breed. They’re also friendly enough that you can take them virtually anywhere dogs are allowed, without anyone batting an eye.

Australian Shepherds require a lot of stimulation, but for those willing to invest in some serious playtime, they’re perfect!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis, despite their small stature, have a surprisingly athletic demeanor. These unassuming dogs were bred to herd cattle, which makes them one of the most intelligent breeds. Like all active dogs, they require a ton of physical and mental exercise.

They’re not as active as some of the dogs on this list, but they’re up for hours of walking or playing, all of which can help you make sure that you’re getting the exercise you need along the way.

So, if something smaller and cuter is to your taste, you should consider picking up a Corgi as a companion. They’ll keep you on your toes and you’ll find that they’re amazingly fit creatures when given the space to run that they need.


While they’re not the first thing those who aren’t familiar with them would think of, Dalmatians are amazing companions for those who like to run. They were originally bred to keep pace with horse-drawn carriages, so they’ll certainly be able to keep pace with you.

Dalmatians aren’t a passive breed and they can require a firm hand and proper obedience training. If you’re willing to put in the work, however, then you’re in good hands.

Dalmatians are fairly intelligent but mostly they’re bursting at the seams with energy. As a companion for a frequent runner, there aren’t many dogs that compare, and their playful nature will win you over as time goes on.


The Weimaraner is an ideal companion for those who like to go running on trails. Their heritage as hunting dogs makes them fast and easily capable of navigating the rough terrain you may run into.

You may want to keep them on a leash, however, since these dogs are also known for their amazingly high prey drive. A simple run can turn into a wild chase if your dog spots a rabbit or squirrel alongside the trail.

They’re highly intelligent and capable of learning some complex tricks as well, with some creativity training sessions that can be great for both of you. Those with the wild in their hearts, however, will find that the Weimaraner is the perfect companion.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky isn’t suitable as an active dog everywhere. For those in cold climates, these dogs are a fantastic companion, however, able to bear the cold on hikes and jogs while you’re nice and bundled up.

In hotter climates, they can overheat easily, unfortunately, so consider where you’re planning on taking them before you decide they’re the right companion.

That said, they’re highly intelligent and can get into trouble easily when not watched. They’re beautiful but any owner will tell you they’re also rather mischievous. Keep them stimulated or you may be facing some odd problems in the home.

Concluding Thoughts – Health Benefits of Having a Dog

In conclusion, I would like to say the benefit of walking is endless for health and to keep it continue you can walk with your dog.

So, your dog will also get benefit from this walk – like when you say hello to someone, your dog will also learn and say hello next time.

Keep in mind that you have to start slowly and continue it to be habituated on this day by day.


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Adam Kemp
Hello! My name is Adam Kemp, and I am a professional basketball player and Certified Personal Trainer. In 2014 I graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Sports Communications and a Minor in Psychology. Also, I am currently a Masters Student studying Nutrition Education at American University. Please enjoy the health and fitness articles on my website, where you can find a variety of information I have learned throughout my life and see my unique perspective on health and fitness overall. If you would like to learn more about my life, please take a moment to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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