Health Care

Want To Live Longer? Scientists Say You Should Get A Dog

Want To Live Longer? Scientists Say You Should Get A Dog

In addition to companionship, dogs also boost their owners' cardiovascular health through walks, said the researchers.

The study tracked more than 3.4 million Swedes, middle-aged and older, for 12 years. Overwhelmingly, it seems that those with a dog are far less impacted by cardiovascular disease than those who don't own a dog.

"Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner", she said in a university news release. This was to exclude younger individuals who would naturally be at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease anyway, as well as the elderly who are less likely to own a dog.

Researchers believed canine pets help to lower loneliness, which has been described as "akin to a chronic long-term condition" and linked to disorders including heart disease. It is not the first study suggesting that owning a pet (not just a dog) is good for us.

The world's population can be divided into three groups: people who have a dog, people who want to get a dog and bad people.




'Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households. The study did not conclude, however, that dog owners living in multiperson homes experienced the same reduced risk of heart attack as their single counter-parts.

While the research was carried out in Sweden, Fall does believe it may also apply to other countries, including the USA, since popular breeds and people's attitudes toward dog care are similar.

The reasons for this link are not clear, but experts say dog owners do tend to be more active.

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 to the observed results", Tove said. Either way, the dogs are probably going to lick you all over.


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