It’s official: dog owners live longer, healthier lives

All other pets can go home now
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It’s official: dog owners live longer, healthier lives

Between the unconditional affection, the emotional support, the companionship, and the forced interactions with your neighbours, there’s nothing a pet pooch cannot do.

Adding to that sentiment is a new study claiming that dogs could now be the key to a longer life.

In case you didn’t already have enough reasons to cuddle your pup: the research, published in the Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes journal, studying over 3.4 million people found that owning a dog can lead to an improved cardiovascular prognosis, especially for stroke and heart attack survivors who live alone.

Compared to those without a pet pup, Scientists at the American Heart Association say that owners experienced a 24 per cent reduced risk of mortality and are 65 per cent less likely to die after a heart attack.

The outcome echoes the results of a separate study carried out by Uppsala University, Sweden, which showed that heart attack patients living alone after being released from hospital experienced a 33 per cent reduced risk of death if they owned a dog.

Glenn N Levine, from the American Heart Association, said, “These two studies provide good quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality. […] While these non-randomised studies cannot 'prove' that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this."

Studies have suggested that, from boosting their owner’s immune system, and reducing blood pressure following a particularly stressful event, to as simple as increasing their owner’s daily physical activity, there are many facets of being a dog owner that could be directly linked to a lessened risk of mortality. And if that's not reason enough for everyone to get a dog, we don't know what is.

Photos: Instagram and Unsplash