Want to Live Longer? Try Getting a Dog

Oct 18, 2019 by

Puppy Looking Up

Who isn’t looking for another way to increase their lifespan?

Well, here’s a new one for you: A recent study published by an American Heart Association journal claims that if you own a dog, you’ll live longer. 

The study outlines the positive health outcomes of dog ownership, suggesting that a number of unique benefits can be linked to taking care of a canine companion:

  • A diminished sympathetic response to stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • A better lipid profile

How the Study Was Conducted

This study was actually an examination of past studies on the subject of dog ownership and mortality. Those studies considered were conducted over the course of 69 years — from 1950 to 2019. The total research analyzed almost 4 million people from North America, Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia. 

According to the overwhelming findings, all-cause mortality went down 24 percent among dog owners. 

Heart Health and Dog Ownership

Improved heart health was specifically noted as improving with the ownership of a dog. In fact, those who had already had a major cardio event (like a heart attack) were found to benefit the most from owning a dog. 

The journal cited a unique study looking specifically at women and men in Sweden. Of those hundreds of thousands who were analyzed, those who had already suffered a stroke or heart attack had significantly better health outcomes after the cardio event.

Thinking About Dog Ownership?

It’s important to note that the studies referred to here are both observational. This means the outcomes between health and buying a dog or getting a puppy correlate positively (both go up in relation to each other), but there’s no direct evidence that canine ownership will definitely mean better health. 

Additionally, there’s surely more to dog ownership than simply benefitting from improved heart health and longevity. We can say with confidence that a new dog or a new puppy can be a wonderful thing for both individuals and families overall — in a multitude of ways.

Indeed, many of these benefits can be easily corroborated by all your dog-owning friends and family:

  • Increased exercise
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased exposure to “diverse bacteria,” which can positively influence your microbiome and overall immune system
  • Improved resistance to allergies
  • Kids raised with more compassion, empathy, and responsibility
  • Better security in the house

… among many others!

Of course, if you plan on buying a dog or getting a puppy, one of your main responsibilities will be to schedule them a checkup at least once a year at the vet. Looking for a quality veterinary clinic in the Edmond, OK area? Look no further than Sunset Veterinary Clinic. Give us a call at (405) 844-2888 today to schedule your new dog or new puppy their next appointment!

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