Want to Live Longer? Get a Dog!
20 November, 2017
dog owner live longer

We all know of the emotional and physical health benefits of owning a dog (or them owning us!).  Our dogs tend to lift our moods, make us walk every day and keep us company.  Well, now a new study found that dog owners tend to live longer than those who don’t have dogs!

Owning a dog is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death

Owning a dog is associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to a comprehensive new study published by a team of Swedish researchers on Friday in the journal Scientific Reports.

Scientists followed 3.4 million people over 12 years – those that owned dogs lived longer

The scientists followed 3.4 million people over the course of 12 years and found that adults who live alone and owned a dog were 33 percent less likely to die during the study than adults who lived alone without dogs. In addition, the single adults with dogs were 36 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

“Dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household,” Mwenya Mubanga, a Ph.D. student at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, and the lead junior author of the study, said in a statement announcing its findings.

The lower mortality rate is significant in single households than those with family or partners

The link between dog ownership and lower mortality was less pronounced in adults who lived either with family members or partners, but still present, according to the study.  It presumed that a dog may be more single family household because it truly is their only company.

The study found that because dog owners exercise more it helped overall health

The study, which is the largest to date on the health implications of owning a dog, suggested that some of the reasons dog owners may have a lower risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease were because dog owners walk more.  Another explanation, according to the study, could be the increased social contacts or the effect dogs have on the bacterial microbiome in the owner.

What is the take away?  Just another benefit of having a dog and not too surprising given all we know about how important dogs and/or pets are in our lives. You can ready the full study: Scientific Reports

Did you know People love Dogs More Than Humans?

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