Owning A Dog Makes You Live Longer, Says Science

18 November, 2017, 01:40 | Author: Yolanda Murray
  • This image is for use with this specific article only** Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death finds a new study published Friday in Scientific Reports a Swedish publication

Fall added that because all participants of the study were Swedish, the results most closely apply to dog owners in Sweden or other "European populations with similar culture regarding dog ownership". The results showed that single dog owners had a 33 percent reduction in risk of death and 11 percent reduction in risk of heart attack, compared to single non-owners. Also, those who lived alone but with a canine had a 36 percent less likely of developing cardiovascular disease.

Researchers at Uppsala University reviewed data collected from 2001 to 2012 from seven different national registries, including the Swedish Agricultural Agency's dog owner's register and the Swedish Kennel Club's register, in addition to the Register of the Total Population, which contains information on birth, migration, changes of citizenship, civil status and death on all Swedish citizens and residents. But did you know your dog could be saving your life?

A study of more than 3.4-million people revealed that having a dog in the house is linked to living a longer life.

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Dog owners have a significantly lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes, according to a report by a team of Swedish scientists that gives new meaning to the expression "man's best friend".

Another finding was that owners of dogs from breed groups originally bred for hunting were the ones most protected, so dogs in the retriever, terrier, and scent hound families are the ones that may provide the most benefit. For instance, people who choose to get a dog are generally more active in the first place and of better health. Their chances of cardiovascular death fell by 15 percent. We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results.

"Dog owners in particular tend to be a little more extroverted, or outgoing" Kay Joubert, Director Companion Animal Services at PAWS, told The Huffington Post.

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While Bond may not prescribe a dog as treatment for a patient, she said that she will not discourage owning or buying one, or expressing the benefits of owning one.

The characteristics of people who decide to get a dog could also be influencing the findings. "The associations we see may be that dogs affect the owner's lifestyle and well-being positively", said Fall. "In warmer climates, they could keep them in the yard and won't have to actively take them for a walk", said Fall. "More studies should be obtained in the United States", said Bond.

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