Published: Mon, November 20, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Do People Who Own Dogs Live Longer?

Do People Who Own Dogs Live Longer?

New research suggests dogs aren't just man's best friend, these furry pals could help you live longer! The researchers used data from almost 3.5 million Swedish people between the ages of 40 and 80 to compile their findings.

People who own dogs have lower risks of dying from cardiovascular diseases and other health causes, according to a study of 3.4 million Swedes. In addition, the study said it's "plausible that not all members of a multiple-person household interact with the dog as much as a single owner". The researchers compared the health of people who owned and didn't own dogs by cross checking with Sweden's detailed dog ownership databases.

"One mechanism by which dog ownership could reduce cardiovascular disease risk and mortality is by alleviating psychosocial stress factors, such as social isolation, depression and loneliness - all reportedly lower in dog owners".

Those who choose breeds for hunting would likely already be considered outdoorsy types, and regular exercise has always been associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Dog ownership was especially beneficial for people living alone.

Well, they for sure pick up more shit than those who don't.

Mwenya Mubanga of Uppsala University said, "The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11% reduction in risk of heart attack".

This was because dogs brought dirt into the home that non-dog owners didn't get exposed to and it was thought this new bacteria might be good for human health. Having a dog may protect from cardiovascular disease by increasing owners' wellbeing or social circle, or by changing the person's bacterial microbiome.

The reasons for this link are not clear, but experts say dog owners do tend to be more active.

Like this: