New Study Suggests that Dog Owners might Live Longer
Deepak Gopalakrishnan | On 02, Jul 2018
We need to look no further than decades of popular culture, millions of absolutely adorable viral videos and countless happy owners walking their canine best friends on sunny afternoons to know that dogs are a much loved and valued part of society. With this said, what if I told you that owning a dog offers an added bonus of a healthier life overall?
A Swedish study, published in November 2017 by Uppsala University, found a significant amount of evidence to suggest that there might, in fact, be a correlation between dog ownership and a ‘23% reduction in death from heart disease’. If that’s not enough to motivate you to get that dog you’ve secretly been wanting for years, the researchers go on to state that dog owners have a ‘20% lowered risk from dying from any cause’ at all!
There are certainly a number of factors that help to explain the reason behind these impressive findings. Naturally, dog owners are more active- they have to walk their little buddy daily. Though walking is a less exhaustive form of exercise than others, it boasts myriad health benefits including prevention of heart disease, lower blood pressure, stronger bones and muscles and works to release endorphins that will naturally increase a person’s mood! It’s no secret that, in our age of advanced technology and convenience, some of us might not be walking as much as we should be. But, could you really say no to the sweet eyes of a little pup who keeps looking at you, and then at the leash and back at you again? I certainly couldn’t!
What’s more, it’s widely known that there is a strong link between happiness and longevity. For animal enthusiasts around the world, having a dog by their side adds unmeasurable fulfilment to their lives. I’m sure that, for those of you who grew up with a family dog pottering around the house like I did, it would be hard to imagine a childhood without the little rascal. The kinship and love that a dog can offer a person certainly increases that person’s happiness which, in turn, reduces their stress levels, promotes better sleep and adds to their general quality of life immensely.
Similarly, much like being a parent, dog owners tend to take better care of themselves when they have an animal which is wholly dependent on them. Let’s say that a doctor warns you about your high levels of cholesterol. If you don’t have a dependent dog or child, you might think ‘oh well, I like burgers and chips too much to give it up’. However, if you come home from the doctor’s office and your dog rushes to the door to greet you because they missed you so much, you might decide that a change in diet is worth the hassle after all.
Though we can all improve our health with enough determination, if you’re one of the many people out there who has been weighing up whether or not to get a dog for a while, this study can definitely be placed in your mental ‘pro’s’ column! Having ‘man’s best friend’ in your life is already a magical experience and, if there’s a chance that my health will improve too, sign me up!