Dogs are not only invaluable companions on hunting trips–they may also keep you healthy and hunting for longer.
The American Heart Association (AHA) published a press release May 9 quoting Glenn N. Levine, M.D., professor at Baylor College of Medicine as saying, “Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.”
Owning a hunting dog can help keep your heart healthy in a couple different ways, including increasing how much physical activity you get. According to the AHA, “… [dog owners] were more than 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity.” Apply this to hunting dogs and it is easy to see how you might be able to exercise more. Having your own hunting dog means you and your furry companion can go out rabbit hunting, for example, without needing to coordinate with other people: your dog can flush the game out for you to shoot.
Whether out on a difficult rabbit hunt or coming home after a hard day at work, owning a pet can help you deal with stress as well. According to the AHA, “Pets can have a positive effect on the body’s reactions to stress.”
While none of these claims by the AHA are confirmed and “Further research, including better quality studies, is needed to more definitively answer this question,” hunters can attest to the fact that owning a hunting dog is beneficial regardless of what studies may conclude.