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Surf’s Up For Dogs: Why Dogs Keep Us Healthy

Surf’s Up For Dogs: Why Dogs Keep Us Healthy

Dogs are deeply ingrained in the San Diego lifestyle. In fact a Huffington Post article recently ranked San Diego 4th on its list of the 10 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in America. There is no better representation of how clearly dogs are an integral part of the San Diego culture than the dog surf contest at Dog Beach in Del Mar.

On September 11th, the 11th annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon will take place at Del Mar’s Dog Beach to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center. In addition to the hang-tens and radical waves, the event will feature interactive vendor booths, a doggie costume contest, food, live music, and a variety of other doggie-related activities.

This is a unique day of fun for dog lovers, and also a fabulous opportunity to improve your health. Dogs keep us healthy in many ways you may not even realize. In addition to the obvious health benefits of being outside and active with your dog, they improve health in longer-term, deeper ways as well. Here’s how:

Why Dogs Rule: Top 5 Health Benefits of Dogs


  • Less Sneezing, More Cuddling- Dogs Prevent Allergies in Kids:

Having a pet in the home can have the long-term effect of your child being 33% less likely to develop pet-related allergies. The results from these studies were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and go on to show that kids exposed to animals early in life tend to develop stronger immune systems overall. Kids develop an immunity to animals that stays with them in the long term. Encourage your kids to snuggle up with Fido and reap the long term benefits of better health!

If your kids suffer from allergies, contact a Scripps Affiliated Medical Group Allergist today for help help managing them.


  • Dogs Are Good for Your Heart and Soul:

While we all know dogs can touch our hearts, they also have proven health benefits to the heart. Dogs can decrease blood pressure, and cholesterol, and can reduce the long-term risk of having a heart attack. This is according to studies conducted by both the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health on the heart-related effects of pets. They also showed that people who have suffered from a heart attack have better rates of recovery with a dog or cat.

Contact a Scripps Affiliated Medical Group Cardiologist for more information about managing your heart health!


  • Cheer Up! Dogs Reduce Stress and Improve Mood:

Dogs are unwavering companions. They cheer you up when you are down and offer unconditional love. Petting your dog for just 15-30 minutes can make you feel relaxed and calm, while playing with your dog can increase dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. This brings feelings of joy and companionship.

According to a study by Miami and St. Louis Universities, dogs can even produce the same effects as having a human companion. This has been successful in animal-assisted therapy programs for the sick and elderly and is why many hospitals and nursing homes turn to dogs to cheer people up on a regular basis.


  • Dogs Help Decode Cancer:

According to Science Daily, dogs and people get the same types of cancer. There is an opportunity for cross-pollination with the veterinary community to better understand cancer and share solutions because of the similarities of the disease in dogs and humans. Veterinary oncologists and human oncologists are working together to better understand the disease. They are leveraging successes in both fields to treat their patients, whether they have a tail or not!

If you’re looking for an oncologist, Scripps Affiliated Medical Group has you covered!


  • Dogs Make a Move to Help Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Dogs help those suffering from the painful condition of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by keeping them moving and distracting them from their pain. Whether it’s a lazy dog or playful dog, they can help RA sufferers by encouraging their owners to pet them, walk them, feed them, and move around in general. This replaces the typically painful experience of moving with a pleasurable one of interacting with a dog.

Need help with your RA? Contact one of our knowledgeable Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups specialists today.


The health benefits of dogs are wide-reaching and have a huge impact on the quality of life for those they touch. Hitting the waves with the dogs at the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is a great place to start! Share some laughs, get inspired, and improve your health with these adventurous dogs. Cowabunga!

Do you have a doggie in your life that inspires you? Tell us about it in the comments below!


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