Owning a dog has THIS life-changing benefit, says science.
What if having a dog could improve your health? Like, literally? Well, according to a recent Swedish study published in Scientific Reports, owning and living with a dog actually makes you both healthier and live longer.
This study followed 3.4 million people for 12 years. After following health records and correlating who owned a dog and who didn’t, the realization that dogs can help people live longer became evident. Not only do dog owners have the perk of a longer life than the average person, they also have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease – something non-owners don’t have the privilege of, according to the study. Even dog owners who were consistent smokers turned out to be healthier than if they didn’t own a dog!
Not only can owning a dog make you live a healthier, longer life – dogs can also help your immune system. According to the study, your immune system grows stronger from being around the germs dogs can carry. Therefore, with that new, strong immune system, you’re less likely to fall ill to the common cold that everyone seems to get now and then, among other sicknesses.
Researchers aren’t exactly clear as to why dog owners seem to live a longer, healthier life than the average non-owner. Theories tend to range as to why this could be. Some say that having a dog in the house makes you more active, as walking your dog daily gets you out of the house more than if you didn’t own a dog. Others say that owning a dog offers stable social support, benefiting the mental health and therefore making the owner healthier!
Either way, the study is good news for dog owners around the world. Here’s to more puppy snuggles and a longer life!