A recent report from Nature on 7th November this year (2017) has all sorts of good news for dog owners, especially in single households. Live longer and be healthier!
Lets start with the conclusion:
In conclusion, in a nationwide population based study with 12 years of follow-up, we show that dog ownership is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in single households and with a reduced risk of cardiovascular and all-cause death in the general population.
Even more telling was the reduced death risk for those living alone. Single? Get a dog to live longer.
For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower.
Multi occupancy household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.
“Being a single has previously been reported as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and it seems that a dog may be able to neutralize this over-risk,” one of the scientists on the study from the Department of Medical science at Uppsala University, Sweden said. The odds for a healthier life were also in favor of those who had a hunting breed dog, like terriers and retrievers.
The researchers don’t claim to know what it is exactly about dogs, but the pets seem to make for better lifestyle choices and happier moods. All this could translate to a longer life. As with any study, there’s always the chance that people who are drawn to dogs already have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, especially if they are active people.
The study findings aren’t surprising to dog owners but the length and scope of the study boosts the research. More than 3.4 million Swedes were part of the research and data from different national registries was examined over a 12-year period. Even if the results are more scientifically sound than other studies out there, it doesn’t change that research about the health benefits of dogs is endless.
Cat owners also benefit!
We don’t mention cats that often here, but according to a study by the Minnesota Stroke Institute that followed more than 4,000 cat owners over 10 years, owning a cat can dramatically reduce a person’s chance of dying from heart disease. Specifically, people who owned cats were 30 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.
We wonder if you have a dog and a cat you could live forever!