Adopting a dog may help single people extend lifespan

Toni Houston
November 21, 2017

Looking for the secret to a longer life and a healthy heart?

For their study, researchers sifted through health data on 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80. Multi-person homes see an 11% decrease in their charge of death with a dog at home and a 15% lower chance of death due to cardiovascular disease. Results showed a lower risk of cardiovascular issues and other related problems, especially in owners of dogs bred for hunting. The study concludes that owning a canine pet may prevent cardiovascular disease and other heart conditions by increasing the dog owner's social contact and well-being.

Along with the added exercise and happiness the Swedish study attributed to owning a pet, a 2002 study by two American universities found that pet owners also benefited from lower stress levels compared to people without a furry companion.

'Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.

Some of the folks who conducted this study suggest that dogs bring dirt into the house, and they like to sit on your lap.

In news that is FAR from barking mad, scientists have discovered that man's best friend may also be man's biggest life-saver. "Many times I realize that the only activity some of my patients engage in are when they walk their dogs". Dogs can carry certain bacteria that would not have been encountered by a person without otherwise owning a dog.

Fall believes that while their study provides strong evidence for the health benefits of dogs, their work is not done yet, since it does not answer why dogs achieve these results or why specific breeds seems to offer more protection. The researchers compared the health of people who owned and didn't own dogs by cross checking with Sweden's detailed dog ownership databases.

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

If playing with your dogs, and napping with your dogs, and throwing chew toys around, and getting your face licked is good for your health, we know a couple of people who are going to live forever.

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