Science says puppy love is good for you and dog carers may have healthier hearts.
A recent study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association, combined the data of almost 4 million subjects across ten studies conducted from 1950 to 2019. It found that “dog owners had a 24% risk reduction for death from any cause,” USA Today reports. “For people with heart problems, living with a dog had an even greater benefit, authors said.”
It’s unclear if this is thanks to daily dog walks, dog owners smoking and drinking less, or the healing power of dog joy (which is not a thing. Yet.).
The journal also published another study, less extensive but more specific, conducted on Swedish residents between the ages of 39 and 86 and who’d had a stroke or heart attack between 2001 and 2012. Heart attack victims amounted to nearly 182,000 people with 6% of them keeping a dog. Ischemic stroke victims numbered almost 155 000 people with nearly 5% keeping a dog.
“The study found that people who suffered a heart attack and lived alone were 33 percent less likely to die after being released from hospital if they owned a dog,” The Independent reports. “Meanwhile, for stroke victims who were dog owners, the risk of death was 27 percent lower.”
Tove Fall, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden told The Independent that “we know that social isolation is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death. The previous studies have indicated that dog owners experience less social isolation and have more interaction with other people. Furthermore, keeping a dog is a good motivation for physical activity, which is an important factor in rehabilitation and mental health.”
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Remember to join us for the dotsure.co.za Night Walkies event on 29 February 2020 for a relaxing walk through the leafy suburbs of Emmarentia and Greenside. Grab a leash and let’s light up the streets for a fun-filled event in aid of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League.