By Stacey Leasca
October 09, 2019
Peter Griffith/Getty Images

Not only can a dog bring a lot of joy to your life, but it turns out that fluffy pooch may help you live longer, too.

In a new systemic review of nearly 70 years of global research, scientists found that adopting a dog can reduce a person’s risk of dying by 24 percent.

"Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause," Dr. Caroline Kramer, Mount Sinai endocrinologist and lead author of the study, told CNN.

While having a four-legged friend is good for all, the analysis found those who already suffered a heart attack or stroke may benefit the most from a companion animal.

"For those people, having a dog was even more beneficial,” Kramer said. “They had a 31 percent reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.”

But that’s not the only good news. As CNN also noted, a separate study involving 336,000 Swedish men and women found that dogs are also particularly healthy for those who live alone.

"The most interesting part of this study was that people who lived alone actually seem to get the greatest benefit in both the heart attack group and the stroke group," Dr. Martha Gulati, editor-in-chief of CardioSmart.org, told CNN.

Why are dogs so good for a solitary person’s health? It’s easy. It all comes down to having a happy little companion.

“We know that loneliness and sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for premature death,” Tove Fall, professor of molecular epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden and study co-author, told NBC.

Beyond emotional support, it appears dogs can provide physical support as well.

“Dogs are an excellent motivation for their owners to get outdoors and walk them,” Fall added. In fact, all that walking helps dog owners have a 65 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

So go ahead, find that pup you’ve been dreaming of and start walking every day together. Maybe even go on vacation together. It will be good for both of you. We promise.

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