It has been known for a while that dogs can contribute to a positive lifestyle and mental wellbeing. Still, a recent study seems to drive that point home, indicating that owning a dog has been statistically linked with living a longer life.
Dog owners are more prone to physical activities, which leads to the reduction of social isolation. Having a furry friend also benefit heart attack and stroke survivors in their recoveries.
The study, which was conducted in Sweden between 2001 and 2012 using the country’s National Patient Register, took into account 3.8 million patients taken from 10 other studies.
Researchers zoomed in on people who suffered a heart attack or stroke and compared the ones who owned a dog and those who did not.
It was revealed that the dog owners had a 33% lower risk of death compared to the non-dog owners. The results were almost identical for those who were treated for a stroke.
Dr. Glenn N. Levine, M.D., said this in a statement for the American Heart Association: “The findings in these two well-done studies and analyses build upon prior studies and the conclusions of the 2013 AHA Scientific Statement ‘Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk’ that dog ownership is associated with reductions in factors that contribute to cardiac risk and to cardiovascular events.”
Levine added: “Further, these two studies provide good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality. While these non-randomized studies cannot ‘prove’ that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this.”
The fact that the study looks at a huge sample size has been commended. It is also being applauded for its in-depth analysis of the situation and seems to indicate the correlation with very little doubt or variations.
Many dog owners have been sharing the story on social media and have been commenting positively on it, as can be expected — and it seems like the report has even generated some extra interest in the idea of owning a furry pet in the first place.
However, some have warned that owning a dog is not a simple task, and people should be careful in choosing the right breed that matches their lifestyle and activity levels.
According to the study’s authors, there might be other factors at play as well that could explain the correlation, such as the fact that many dog owners reportedly avoid alcohol and tobacco for some reason.
However, the study has attempted to correct for those deviations as best as possible, and it is painted a pretty clear picture of its results in the end. Can the same be said for cats and other animals?
There does not seem to be that much information in this regard, though it would not be surprising if another study came up to investigate that in the future.