It needs no retelling that dogs are generally considered as best friends of people. But it seems that having a dog as a pet has more advantage than that. According to a Swedish study, as quoted by The Guardian, dog owners have lesser risk of suffering from heart diseases. The study, that took into account 3.4 million people from the age of 40 to 80, inferred that having a dog can reduce the risks of suffering from heart diseases by 23 per cent and death from other causes by 20 per cent.
It is believed that owning dogs makes one more responsive to stress. For instance, their pulse rates and blood pressure remain under control. It also helps get in more physical activity.
Tove Fall, lead author of the study and epidemiologist said that while conducting the study, they had also taken into account existing health problems, lifestyle differences among those who owned dogs and those who did not. It turned out that having a dog is most beneficial to those who live alone. “It seems that a dog can be a substitute for living with other people in terms of reducing the risk of dying. “Dogs encourage you to walk, they provide social support and they make life more meaningful. If you have a dog, you interact more with other people. If you do get ill and go into hospital and you have a dog, there’s a huge motivation to try to get back home,” Fall said.
It was also deduced that having a retriever or pointer is more beneficial health wise. In Sweden, we have one of the lowest rates of dog ownership in Europe. Maybe this will increase the acceptance that dogs are important to people,” Fall said.