Owning a dog increases your lifespan
New research published in the journal Scientific Reports has found what most dog owners already believe. Owning a dog increases your lifespan. The researchers looked at data from over 3.3 million Swedish citizens over about 12 years to get their findings. The biggest impact of dog ownership was on people living alone where dog owning singles were 33% less likely to die from any of the causes they were looking into with a major reduction (36%) in the likelihood of dying from cardiovascular disease when compared to singles living without a dog. Multi-person households with a dog also saw the benefits of owning a dog with a reduction of about 11% (15% less likely to dies from cardiovascular illness).
Dogs Improve Mental Health
This research correlates with many other studies of the link between dogs and the people that own them. Much scientific research has time and again found dog ownership to have positive outcomes for dog owners with both mental and physical health improving by owning a dog. Previous studies have found that dog owners have significantly lower stress and blood pressure levels compared to people without a dog in the household. Just about every dog owner I know can tell me a story of times that they have been stressed out and the simple act of their dog showing them affection has had an instant calming effect on them.
Dog Owners More Active
The researchers believe that one of the reasons for the health benefits of dog ownership is that dog owners are more physically active and noted that they take 3,000 more steps per day on average than people without a dog. We are constantly hearing from new puppy owners about how their dog makes them feel guilty if they don’t take them for their usual walk, helping them stay active. Taking a Cavoodle or Groodle out for a walk is not only rewarding in a physical sense, but does wonders for the social life of dog owners. Friendly-looking dogs such any of the Designer dog breeds attract attention from not only other dog owners but also from other dog lovers and are almost impossible to avoid giving a quick pat.
Dogs Increase Good Bacteria
Another reason for the health benefits of dog ownership stated by the authors of the study includes changes to the bacterial microbiome of the owner. This microbiome is the constant changing community of microorganisms that live on, in and around us. While some of us might be a little squeamish to think about these microscopic hitchhikers, they play a pivotal role in keeping us healthy by excluding harmful microorganisms from our bodies. Basically, by spending time with our dogs, they help us avoid becoming sick from disease causing microorganisms.
There are obviously many more benefits to owning a dog that are way too numerous to mention here, but having scientific proof of the benefits of dog ownership is great to have, especially to know that just hanging out with your Spoodle on the couch is an exercise in looking after your health!
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