Want a Longer Life? Get a Dog, Study Says

Owning a dog slashes the risk of suffering a premature death by a third new research reveals

Scientists examined data relating to Swedes aged between 40 and 80, who in 2001 (when registration of dog ownership was first made obligatory) had no history of cardiovascular disease.

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.

Older people who live alone are 33 per cent less likely to die over the next 12 years if they have a dog, according to a Swedish study of more than 3.4 million elderly people.

People who live alone seemed to benefit the most from man's best friend. They were also 11% less likely to have a heart attack, an effect that is not shown among people who live with others and is nearly certainly attributable to our children's leftover french fries.

Having a dog in the home substantially reduces the risk of heart attacks and other fatal conditions, a major study has shown.

As if puppy kisses weren't enough reason to adopt a dog, Swedish research links dog ownership to living longer.

In fact, our very favorite part of dog ownership is when your dog desperately needs to go outside at about 3 am on a rainy night in November because it is extremely important that they sit on the lawn and sniff the air for half an hour.

Senior author Professor Tove Fall, said: 'We know dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results'.

The protective effect was especially prominent for people living alone, who have been found to have a higher risk for early death than those who live with other people.

While the study didn't look at why dogs are good for people's health and longevity, researchers suggested reasons ranging from increased physical activity, social contact and reduced stress and even a boost microbiome diversitythat essential for good health. "In warmer climates, they could keep them in the yard and won't have to actively take them for a walk", said Fall. In households with more people under the same roof, dogs had less of a positive impact, but still lowered deaths from heart disease by 15%, the work reveals. They also probably apply to the United States, she says.

"Alternatively it could be reverse causality - people who are fitter and more active are more likely to own a dog".

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Owning a dog is associated with reduced mortality and risk of having heart disease".

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