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New Research Shows Dogs Help Their Humans Live Longer

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While study after study shows that a dog’s presence in our life is a positive one full of emotional and physical benefits, now research from Sweden suggests that being a dog owner may make you live longer.

Related: Research Shows Pet Ownership Saves $11.7 Billion In Health Care Costs

Researchers looked at over 3.4 million adults in Sweden who have a history of heart disease. Over the course of 12 years, they looked at the participants, and concluded that dog owners had lower risks of cardiovascular disease and in the general population, ‘all-cause mortality.’

In single-person households, the effects of being a dog owner were most noticed, with the risk of death lowered by 33% and chances of a heart attack lowered by 11% in those who had a pet. Even more specifically, the researchers discovered that breeds originally known for hunting, such as retrievers and terriers, lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease the most.

Tove Fall is a senior author of the study, and believes that dog owners typically are more active than those who are not, as they often feel it important to exercise their dogs. Often that includes exercise for the pet owners as well. More, the social benefits from having a pet can affect overall mood and disposition in their owners, and this can help lower heart disease risk as well.

Related: Study: Dog Walking is Great Exercise for the Elderly

The research was designed to collaborate with prior research, specifically a statement from the American Heart Association that was released in 2013. That statement concluded that pet ownership, and more specifically, dog ownership, most likely decreased cardiovascular disease.

Once again, man’s best friend proving that life is better (and longer!) with them in it!


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