Dog Owners Have A Lower Risk Of Heart Attack

Yes, your furry one may help you live longer.

By Catalina Barrios

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Just when you thought dogs couldn’t get any more awesome.

Want to live longer? How about having a better quality of life? I am 100% sure your answer is “Yes”. You only have one life so why not enjoy it to the fullest? I enjoy each day as much as I can, going to bed with a smile and waking up the same.

I have some great advice if you want to feel happier: own a dog. Having a dog has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. They love you, they care for, they protect you. There’s nothing like coming home and being welcomed by your furry friend.

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I could spend hours listing the benefits of having a dog. What would you say if I told you that being a dog owner cuts your risk of heart attacks? According to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports, having a dog can help reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease and even death.  

Researchers from the study in Sweden looked at 3.4 million Swedish residents between the ages of 40 and 80 years old who were all without any prior cardiovascular disease. They were followed during a 12 year period.Some were dog owners and others weren’t. Those who were dog owners had a 20% lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease compared to those who didn’t have a dog.

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The study also found out that owning a dog can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 36% for dog owners who lived by themselves compared to single individuals living without a pet. Also a chance of having a heart attack was found to be 11% lower in single dog owners.

What if your family owns a dog? Researchers say the risk of death among multi person dog owners decreased by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death was 15% lower compared to dog-less households.

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Mwenya Mubanga, an author on the study and PhD student at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden said,

“A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household”.

According to the study, owning a dog could help you reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by alleviating stress factors such as: depression, social isolation and loneliness. Researchers also say that dog owners have more physical activity and spent more time outdoors.

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Tove Fall, professor of epidemiology at Uppsala University, and owner of a five-month-old Kooikerhondje puppy said, a dog’s company may help reduce stress and motivate their owners to have healthier lifestyles. Fall analyzed different breeds and found out that dog owners of hunting breeds such as terriers, retrievers and scent hounds, had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fall adds having a dog could influence the types of microbes (tiny forms of bacteria that are important for our health) that are found in our bodies and these may help in having a better lifestyle.

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Choosing to have a dog is a very important decision to make. If you are thinking of adding a dog to your life, make sure you have the time and ability to give the care they need. Of course, please consider #adoptdontshop