Family Health, Your Health Lindsay Guinaugh | 6 years ago

Is Your Dog Keeping You Healthy? You May Be Surprised.

Forbes has listed Charlotte as one of America’s most pet-friendly cities. Residents and newcomers well beyond the Queen City’s limits apparently know having a pet can help you live a longer, healthier life.

On any given day, in any area park, there seem to be as many four-legged as two-legged visitors. Yes, we love our cats and dogs (and fancy chickens), but can they really keep us healthy? Read on.

Snuggling with Samson

A study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. So, while it may seem strange, having a pet in the home has been shown to lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by over 30 percent.

Jogging with Ginger

Or, walking with Waldo! The speed of your excursion with your dog doesn’t matter. What matters is that having a dog makes it more likely you’ll be moving every day. Lace up your sneakers, grab the leash and get out there.

Relax with Rover

The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world. Because dogs live in the moment – they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow – they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present.

Mixing with Moxy

Going out and about with your dog is not just physical; it’s social. Pets offer a great opportunity to meet and greet people, make new friends and connect with your neighbors (as long as you faithfully clean up after your pooch). The area has lots of options to socialize with your dog:
  • Crowders Mountain – Your dog is a natural explorer. Take her on a hike through this Kings Mountain, NC, area.
  • The Dog Bar – Located in the NoDa neighborhood just south of uptown Charlotte, this spot offers live music, dog birthday parties and fundraising activities.
  • Seven Oaks Preserve Trail – Located near Lake Wylie, this natural surface trail is a challenging 5-mile-plus walk. Human hikers and their leashed canine companions are welcome.
  • Canine Café – The Canine Café was opened in 1995 by a dog owner whose pet was allergic to commercial treats. The café is now a destination for those who want to feed their dogs only natural foods and treats.
  • The Trail System at the US National Whitewater Center – There are more than 20 miles of woodland trails to explore at the Whitewater Center – with your dog!
  • Anne Springs Close Greenway – Located in Fort Mill, SC, this area offers more than 40 miles of trails to explore.

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