Dog owners, there is some good news for you!
A recent study shows that dog owners have a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease or other causes.
A team of Swedish scientists used national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health.
The goal was to determine whether dog owners had a different risk of cardiovascular disease and death than non-dog owners.
PhD student at the Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory at Uppsala University, Mwenya Mubanga said, “The results showed that single dog owners had a 33% reduction in risk of death and 11 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease during follow-up compared to single non-owners.”
“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. Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households,” Mwenya added.
Commenting on the reasons behind this, senior author of the study Tove Fall said, “We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results. Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner.”
“There might also be differences between owners and non-owners already before buying a dog, which could have influenced our results, such as those people choosing to get a dog tending to be more active and of better health”, Tove added.
So, it turns out that dogs are truly man’s best friend!
The research was conducted by Uppsala University and the results were published for the first time in Scientific Reports.