Dog ownership lessens risk of heart disease

In a unique Swedish study, researchers found that people who owned dogs had a lower mortality rate then those who did not. They also found that people who lived alone and owned a dog had less cardiovascular diseases then people who lived alone who did not own a dog.

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The researchers studied 3.4 million people between the ages of 40 and 80 making this a comprehensive comparison. What the study did not show was why there was a difference between dog ownership and non-dog ownership.

One possibility considered was that people who own dogs are more active because they walk their dogs. There was also no indication as to whether or not there were other factors such as the type of people who own dogs vs those who do not.

However, the bottom line is that dog ownership, again, has proven to benefit the health of their owners. It would be interesting to study how growing up with a dog or pet affects the health of children as adults if they continue to own a pet vs those who get a dog or pet later in life. We know that children who own pets are less prone to developing allergies. It would be interesting to know what other physical and mental benefits pet ownership has on children.

Exercise, a benefit of owning a dog

Everyone knows that it is important to get exercise every day. However, for many people, especially elderly people, this can be difficult to do. Often motivation is the key factor to get people moving.

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A new study shows that people in general, especially seniors, exercise more daily than people who do not own dogs. This is often because dogs have to be walked more than once a day.

What is even more significant is that even in bad weather, people who own dogs get at least 30 minutes more exercise a day than people that do not own dogs.

Owning a pet also helps people in many other ways. Pets tend to help people socially and help prevent mental distress. They relieve loneliness, give people a reason to live, and a sense of acceptance.

By adding physical exercise to this, pets, especially dogs, help keep us healthy.  And keep in mind that going for a walk benefits the dog as well.

For an excellent book get a copy of Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound by Dr. Phil Zeltzman.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170724211648.htm