It's been proven that owning a dog can help provide comfort, a sense of purpose, and even lower depression, but could dog ownership be the secret to longevity? One study is saying yes!
A Swedish study, which measured the link between dog ownership and cardiovascular disease and death, found that dogs "may be beneficial in reducing cardiovascular risk in their owners."
How? By the providing social support and motivation to be physically active, even if that just means a walk around the block.
In an interview with CNN, author and PhD student Mwenya Mubanga said:
"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."
Solo residents living with a dog - and fully responsible for meeting its exercise needs - measured a 33% decreased risk of death when compared to persons living in pet-free homes. The risk of heart attack was also lowered by 11%. Multiple residents living with a dog still benefit from the relationship; however, their risk of heart attack showed no reduction.
Athletic and hunting breeds marked the highest at keeping heart health in tip-top shape, although you don't need to head out for a five-mile hike to reap the benefits of having a canine companion. Social wellness and even immune development measured higher among dog owners as well.
To read the full study, click here.
How much activity do you get with your dog every day? Tell us in the comments!
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