A groundbreaking new study claims that people who have dogs tend to live longer, and scientists have some theories why.
If you want to live a longer and healthier life, you should get a dog, claims a remarkable new study. Scientists in Sweden have found that dog ownership is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and death, according to the study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
They’re particularly effective for people who live along, as owning a dog in that circumstance can lower the risk of death by 33 percent and death from cardiovascular causes by 36 percent compared to those who don’t have a pet and live alone. Not only that, but they had an 11 percent lower risk of having a heart attack.
And the results held true for multi-person households, although the differences were not as pronounced. Risk of death dropped 11 percent for dog owners in this category, including 15 percent lower for cardiovascular death. There could be several factors for this, including that dog owners tend to get more exercise, and because it improves one’s social life to have a dog, that reduces stress levels.
“A very interesting finding in our study was that 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. Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households. The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of myocardial infarction during follow-up compared to single non-owners. Another interesting finding was that owners to dogs from breed groups originally bred for hunting were most protected,” says Mwenya Mubanga, lead junior author of the study and PhD student at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University.