A new study has claimed owning a dog can make you live longer

Publish Date
Thursday, 10 October 2019, 3:21PM

Forget eating right and getting plenty of sleep and exercise ...

The latest advice for living a long, healthy life is to get a dog.

That's according to a new study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, which reviewed data taken about the relationship between dog ownership and mortality from almost 4 million people across 10 studies between 1950 and 2019.

The analysis found that dog owners experience nearly a one-third lower risk of dying from heart problems and a 24% risk reduction in death overall when compared to those who don’t own a dog.

"Dog ownership is associated with a lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality," the authors concluded.

So what exactly is it about owning a dog that would make people live longer?

In an accompanying editorial, cardiologist Dhruv Kazi of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center outlined some of the findings ...

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For starters, there are well-documented mental health benefits to owning a pooch: "Dogs offer companionship, reduce anxiety and loneliness, increase self-esteem, and improve overall mood," Kazi writes.

Then there are the physical benefits.

"Several studies have shown that acquiring a dog perforce increases physical exercise (as anyone who has unsuccessfully tried to sleep past the time of a dog's routine morning walk can attest)," Kazi writes.

People who own dogs tend to spend more time outdoors, which is known to be beneficial to health.

While simply petting a dog - especially a familiar one - lowers a person's blood pressure.