Dog Owners Have a (Healthy) Heart

New study says Dog could increase life of a single person

In addition to companionship, dogs also boost their owners' cardiovascular health through walks, said the researchers.

The study-conducted over 12 years by researchers at Uppsala University, which is basically Sweden's Harvard-analyzed 3.4 million Swedish people between the ages of 40 and 80, and found that in particular people who own hunting breeds got the most health benefits from owning a dog. Overwhelmingly, it seems that those with a dog are far less impacted by cardiovascular disease than those who don't own a dog.

A new study has now shown that there could be a link between dog ownership and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Prior research has shown that living alone raises the risk for heart disease. It is not the first study suggesting that owning a pet (not just a dog) is good for us. People who love cats might love to disagree but the fact is that a dog's love is selfless compared to anyone else's.

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.




Dogs could alleviate social isolation, depression and loneliness, the study said. When compared with single individuals without a dog, single dog owners experienced a 33% decreased risk of death.

'Other explanations include an increased wellbeing and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome (gut bacteria) in the owner'. And there are also factors that could influence the results, such as people who are already more active being more likely to get a dog (especially a hunting dog, which requires lots of exercise).

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

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