Having a pet dog can lower heart disease risk

Having a pet dog can lower heart disease risk

In case you need another reason to snuggle your pup: According to a new study of more than 3.4 million people, owning a dog is linked to a longer life.

A study released shows that a dog really is your best friend. "We see effects in the single households that are much stronger than in multiple-person households", she said.

As a single dog owner, an individual is the sole person walking and interacting with their pet as opposed to married couples or households with children, which may contribute to greater protection from cardiovascular disease and death, said the study. While people who live alone are not necessarily lonely, many in the Swedish study seemed to benefit disproportionately from having a dog around.

According to the results, single dog owners had a 33% reduction in the risk of premature death and 11% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease when compared to single non-owners.

Owning a dog from breeds originally bred for hunting, such as terriers, retrievers and scent hounds, was associated with the lowest risk of cardiovascular disorder.

The study looked at previously self-reported data on almost 3.5 million Swedes between the ages of 40 and 80.

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But Fall says their research does not show how dogs protect their owners from cardiovascular disease and other causes of death. Here's what else they found and details on how they conducted their study.

She added: "There might also be differences between owners and non-owners already before buying a dog, which could have influenced our results, such as those people choosing to get a dog tending to be more active and of better health".

The results? Dog owners - especially dog owners who lived alone - had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

And how do dogs go about keeping one heart-healthy? It adds adds to mounting evidence about the benefits of living with a canine companion. Studies have also suggested that dog owners have lower reactivity to stress and faster recovery of blood pressure following stressful events.

Fall plans on digging into how exactly dogs might affect their owners in future studies, including evaluating how the bacteria in a dog owner's gut might differ from people living in a pet-free house, and how a canine medical crisis might affect an owner's health. Your care and compassion for pets, especially dogs, can help you stay away from heart diseases. "In warmer climates, they could keep them in the yard and won't have to actively take them for a walk", said Fall.

Experts in the United States agreed that the findings made sense.

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