Dogs May Lower Your Heart Disease Risk

Faith Castro
November 21, 2017

People who owned dogs from hunting breeds like retrievers and beagles had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease - probably because they spend half their lives chasing after their beloved hounds. The risk for a heart attack decreased 11% among the single population.

Multi-person household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent.

The results left little doubt that having a dog reduces your overall mortality, with risk of death being roughly 33 percent lower in dog owners who lived alone.

Dr. Mubanga went on, "perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households".

Another interesting finding was that owners of dogs from breed groups originally bred for hunting - such as terriers, beagles and spaniels - appeared to be most protected. "We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation [for] the observed results".

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Man's best friend could also be man's best health secret. Dogs can carry certain bacteria that would not have been encountered by a person without otherwise owning a dog.

"Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner", she said in a university news release.

A recent study has concluded that there is a strong association between dog ownership and reduced risk for early death. That finding seemed to hold true even if you adjusted for other factors such as smoking, body mass index and economic status.

"It is hard to say if there truly is a causal effect". People who own a dog may live longer and be healthier due to their pooches. Nonetheless, a healthy heart appears to be another one of the many benefits of owning a furry companion. The researchers compared the health of people who owned and didn't own dogs by cross checking with Sweden's detailed dog ownership databases.

"We have a colder climate so we have indoor dogs where owners take their dogs out for a walk".

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