Study Finds Owning A Dog Is Beneficial To Your Heart
Here’s one more reason why you should own a dog. The American Heart Association says that dogs may lower your risk for heart disease.
This comes from a scientific statement published by the American Heart Association, who recruited a group of cardiologists for the study. They concluded that owning a pet is “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease for people with no pre-existing history of cardiac disease.
So what’s with the “probably associated” statement? “We didn’t want to make this too strong of a statement,” said Dr. Glenn Levine, a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. “But there are plausible psychological, sociological, and physiological reasons to believe that pet ownership might actually have a causal role in decreasing cardiovascular risk.”
Even though this may not be concrete evidence, it’s a step forward to promoting pet ownership as part of a healthy lifestyle. When you think about it, it makes sense. Dog owners get outside for walks and play time, which is a great source of exercise. And studies show that when you form a close bond with your dog, your reaction to stress is lessened, which lowers your heart rate.
The study went on to say that pet owners partake in greater amounts of physical activity, had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and they were more likely to survive heart attacks. Just to add to the list of pros of dog ownership, you can expect lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, a lower incidence of obesity, and has a positive effect on the body’s reactions to stress.
Even though the evidence is observational, it’s nice to know that a dog can not only steal your heart, he may also help save and strengthen it.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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