- Find a Doctor
- SHow can we help?
Now, there’s a new reason that we can call our dogs man’s best friend. A recent study done in Sweden concluded that individuals who had a dog were at a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. The study followed 3.4 million dog owners between the ages of 40 and 80 for 12 years.
Coordinated Health Cardiologist Minh Nguyen, M.D. wasn’t surprised. “This is something they have studied for years, and there is definitely truth to it. Dog owners tend to walk more, and it is true that having a companion definitely has a positive impact on our health,” he says.
While all breeds of dog were shown to offer health benefits to their owner, hunting breeds like retrievers, hounds and terriers were most likely to reduce their owners risk of death through cardiovascular disease. Researchers attribute that to the fact that hunting dogs have a higher activity level and may need more daily walks.
People living alone with dogs also fared better in the study than dog owners in a shared household. Dog owners who lived by themselves had a 36 percent lower chance of a cardiovascular related death and their chances of a heart attack were 11 percent lower. Those living in a multi-person household owning a dog had a 15 percent lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease, but no reduced risk of heart attack.