Many people who are thinking about getting a dog worry about whether dogs might be dangerous to their health or the health of their family members. In fact, according to physicians, dogs are a safe addition to any family and can actually benefit your health.
When preparing to get a dog, it’s important to take steps to prevent a few things that could end up being dangerous to your health. First, make sure to pick out a dog whose temperament has been evaluated, either by you, the breeder, or a temperament expert at the humane society. There are many books and websites out there to help you find out how to do a series of simple tests on a puppy or adult dog to evaluate their temperament. Temperament evaluation is critical so that you can avoid getting a dog that could bite or act aggressively.
Second, make sure that you have a vet evaluate your pet for diseases and parasites. Most dog diseases can’t be transmitted to humans, but a few can, including intestinal worms. Your dog should be treated for any transmissible diseases before you take it home. In addition, make sure to get all its shots, especially a rabies shot, to prevent other transmissible diseases.
As long as you take these basic steps, you have nothing to fear from getting a dog. In fact, studies have shown that people who get a pet tend to be healthier. We think that is because bonding with a pet lowers stress, which helps protect against a number of stress-related health risks, such as cardiovascular disease. In addition, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions can be alleviated by owning a pet. Finally, some people find that walking their dog daily helps them get outside and get active, which enhances health.