Owning dog linked to lower risk of dying earlier

That dog in your home could be a lifesaver

Researchers looked at 3.4 million Swedes aged 40-80 who went to hospital and who didn't have any previous heart disease. Thanks to mandatory dog ownership registries, the researchers were able to determine if each of the subjects was a pet owner or not, and with years and years of health records at their fingertips, they were able to determine the mortality rates of dog owners vs. those who don't have canine companions.

Lead junior author Mwenya Mubanga said: "The results showed single dog owners had a 11 per cent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease during follow-up compared to single non-owners", said Mubanga. The results have been published in Scientific Reports.

"One mechanism by which dog ownership could reduce cardiovascular disease risk and mortality is by alleviating psychosocial stress factors, such as social isolation, depression and loneliness - all reportedly lower in dog owners".

"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".

Prof Fall believed single dog owners' increased social interaction with others may be another heart-friendly benefit.

Well, they for sure pick up more shit than those who don't.

In particular, it was found that people who owned hunting style dogs had an even lower risk of heart disease.

Dogs may also strengthen humans' gut bacteria, according to the researchers, which has previously been linked to a stronger immune system and maintaining a healthy weight.

Good news dog owners: your four-legged friend might just help you live longer.

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