Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

In news that is FAR from barking mad, scientists have discovered that man's best friend may also be man's biggest life-saver. Moreover, hunting breeds lowered their owners' cardiovascular disease risk the most. That same group benefited from an 11 percent drop in risk of cardiovascular disease as well, when compared to their non-dog-owning peers.

Three million Swedes can't be wrong - dogs lower your heart disease risk.

Some of the folks who conducted this study suggest that dogs bring dirt into the house, and they like to sit on your lap. And if the findings that they improve mental health, decrease stress, and can even help kids avoid developing asthma weren't reason enough to get a pooch, keeping your ticker ticking longer makes it even more compelling.

Dogs could alleviate social isolation, depression and loneliness, the study said.

And while it's important to note the results aren't causal (no one with a heart condition was included in this study, for example), it's the latest in a pretty tall stack of studies about the benefits of owning a dog. "Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner", epidemiologist Tove Fall added.

Single dog owners usually walk their dog more than those in households with multiple people.

However, the authors recognise the limitations of the study, as the data doesn't show the differences between owners and non-owners before getting a dog, which could have influenced results. "We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation [for] the observed results". Since dog ownership requires registration in Sweden and since all health care, including all doctor's visits, are charted in a national database, as Time noted, the researchers could follow the lives of people with and without dogs.

So basically, dogs are great because they keep you happy and keep you active, which keep your ticker ticking along nicely.

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