Scientists explain why having dogs is good for your health


If you have a dog and tell him that today is National Dog Day, I suspect he will say, "I thought every day was Dog Day! Where's my treat?"

As he devours a treat, stop for a moment to think about all that your dog is giving him. Perhaps it is you, dear owner, who receives a gift: good health.

Dogs and cardiovascular health

A 2019 analysis of nearly four million people in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom found that dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduction in premature death from any cause. When individuals had already had a heart attack or stroke, having a dog was shown to be even more beneficial; they were 31% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

The study was criticized for not taking into account other diseases, socioeconomic status, and other factors that could affect the results.

However, another large study published around the same time showed that dog owners had better health outcomes after suffering a major cardiovascular problem, such as heart attack or stroke.

Dog owners who lived alone benefited the most. Heart attack survivors who lived alone with dogs had a 33% lower risk of death compared to survivors who did not have dogs. Stroke survivors who lived alone with a dog had a 27% lower risk of death.

The American Heart Association lists reducing diabetes as one of the health benefits of dog ownership. "People who walk their dogs regularly have one-third the risk of developing diabetes than those who do not," the association says.

In addition, a dog (or other pet) can provide important social and emotional support and is a "powerful indicator of behavioral changes that can lead to weight loss," the association comments.

Obviously, these cardiovascular benefits apply only to dogs, not cats, horses, squirrels and the like. Many suggest that exposure to exercise may explain the benefit: the American Heart Association points to studies that have found that individuals who take their dogs for walks get up to 30 minutes more exercise per day than those who don't take their dogs. dogs.

But in an earlier interview with CNN, Dr. Martha Gulati, editor-in-chief of, a patient education platform of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, said there is no consensus on why .They are more than dogs, of course. Having a pet of any kind brings a circle of love into our lives; they give affection, we reciprocate, and we are all better off for it.


Science agrees.

Source: CNN


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