If you’re one of the lucky ones who has known the love of a dog, then you know the happy, heart-warming feelings that comes with it. But did you know that owning a dog may also offer real heart health benefits? And you didn’t think you could love your dog any more!
The analysis overview
A recent study conducted by Swedish researchers concluded that dog owners are less likely to die from heart disease than their no-dog-owning counterparts. For the study, researchers analyzed medical data and pet ownership records of 3.4 million middle-aged men and women. Researchers paid close attention to the effects of dog ownership on rates of heart disease, mortality, and causes of death.
Proof in numbers
Dog owners were not only 36 percent less likely to die from heart disease, but 33 percent less likely to die from all causes. The study found a connection between dog ownership and some genuine health benefits, including lower rates of mortality and smaller rates of heart disease. Researchers say that dog owners are usually more physically active than non-owners, which makes sense because owners must walk and play with their dog on a regular basis. Owning a dog also reduces stress and anxiety, which can have a positive impact on heart health.
Heart health beyond
Of course, there are other ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Eating a low-fat diet made up of lean meats, fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, as well as regular exercise, are consistently recommended ways to strengthen your heart and protect it from disease. Studies like this simply lengthen the list of reasons why owning a dog is the greatest. They offer unconditional love, loyalty, and joy. Whether it’s a pint-sized Chihuahua or jumbo-sized Great Dane, you’ll find a lifelong companion in your furry friend – and maybe even heart health benefits along the way.