Several studies suggest that dog owners, on average, live longer than those who don’t own one. Is it high time to get your own dog?
By Ringo Bones
Now, more than ever, there is even more of a reason to get a dog: it might help you live longer. A Swedish study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports in November 2017 found that dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, amongst other benefits. In the United States, a study between dog owners and the veterinarians who treat their pooches have also shown that people who own dogs benefit from increased physical activity given that dogs need their daily walk around the block as well as support and companionship. The stress-reducing effect of petting a dog and related pets – also play a factor for a healthier overall cardiovascular health among dog owners. For people living alone, dogs can decrease your risk of sudden death by 33-percent and your risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36-percent compared to people living alone that don’t have a pet.
The benefits don’t only extend to those who live alone, although they have the greatest incentive to adopt a furry family member. Multi-person homes see an 11-percent decrease in their chances of death with a dog at home and a 15-percent lower chance of death due to cardiovascular disease. Researchers found a benefit in owning dogs of all breeds - however, the owners of hunting breeds such as retrievers, terriers and scent hounds saw the most reduced chances from dying of cardiovascular related diseases. While researchers say there’s still more to investigate, benefits are thought to also come in part from increased immunity thanks to dogs bringing dirt into the home from outdoors. Chances are, it seems that longevity and dog ownership might go hand-in-hand?