For many people, adopting a dog is like adding a new member to the family. They want someone to love and care for. A dog isn't just a pet; it can be your baby, especially if you can't or don't want to have kids of your own. While it takes a lot of hard work and can at times be stressful, having a dog can be fun and led to lots of good times.
But did you know that it can lead to a longer life for you, the owner? It's true! A recent study came out to reveal that owning a dog can help you to live longer. Specifically, dog owners have a 24 percent reduced risk of death. This was all found when researchers looked at past studies from 1950 to May of 2019 regarding dog ownership and its connection to human mortality. This included about 10 studies with data from over three million participants.
While this may sound farfetched (no pun intended), it's actually not, when you think about it. The physical aspects of owning a dog (i.e. having to regularly walk them) can help improve cardiovascular health. That's probably why- according to the study- having a dog will benefit those with heart problems. As a matter of fact, dog owners were found to be less likely to die from heart disease when compared to those that don't own dogs.
According to Keith C. Ferdinand- a professor at Tulane University School of Medicine- owning a dog addresses many factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. This includes both mental and physical health.
"Having a family pet may assist a person with managing stress, increasing activity and decreasing isolation and loneliness," he explained.
That being said, owning a dog will solve all of your health problems. Ferdinand went on to explain that being a dog owner isn't going to address cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking. So if you want to better your health with a dog, that's okay. But you need to understand that it won't solve everything.
"The best combination would not only be an active dog owner but also someone who addresses their multiple risk factors," he concluded.