Is your dog helping you live longer?

It turns out your furry little friend is helping you live a longer and happier life. So it’s time to start planning what to do with all the extra time you’ll have together.

A study in Sweden has found out something anyone with a dog long suspected: your best friend is good for you. We don’t just mean your mood or something trivial; we’re talking good for your health.

Good doggy = healthier hearts

Apart from being good company, good fun and good at making us happy, they are, quite literally, good for your heart and more than you already know!. The study found that people who owned dogs tend to live longer and were much less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. 36% less likely in fact.

So dogs are full of life in more ways than expected. In fact, according to the study dog owners risk from death was reduced by up to 33%. That’s not a small number when it comes to life or death matters.

Family booster

Not everything in the study was about such gloomy topics. They also discovered a possible link between reduced childhood allergies and dogs.

The thinking is that the introduction of the dog’s biome (their own mix of bacterias) into owners homes was extremely beneficial. For those growing up around these biomes, it seemed to offer their immune systems a considerable boost. Meaning those with children found their kids less likely to suffer from allergies or asthma.

So your furry family member isn’t just making your children’s lives better by being fun, they’re also helping to improve the quality of their lives. By giving them a healthier and stronger immune system.

Top dog

Interestingly, some breeds are a little more beneficial than others. All dogs offer a benefit; however, the best results usually came from those with hunting breeds (retrievers, terriers, etc.).

Why? Well, that’s not entirely clear yet, but the most likely theory is activity. These breeds tend to take a little extra legwork, as their owners can probably tell you. This means owners need to be more active and spend more time outdoors. All undeniably good things.

One interesting observation was the ‘chicken and egg’ element of this finding. Meaning are active owners attracted to these breeds or do they make the owners active? But that’s a question for another time.

The big print

At this point, we want to make one important thing very clear. A dog should never merely be seen as some kind of equivalent to or substitute for a vitamin.

They are a part of your family. Loyal, loving and full of life which they want to share with their owners, which is how they are helping them live longer.

So if you are wanting to spend more time enjoying life and filling it with those you love, a dog can help. If you’re solely looking for ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and live forever, stick with exercise and vitamins. A dog wants and needs the same level of loyalty, love and commitment they offer.

More than boost

The reality is a dog is more than a health benefit; they are a friend for life. So regardless of what the study found it’s really everything else a dog offers that is more important to those who love them. Companionship, affection and fun all rolled into an active bundle of furry fulfilment.

If owning a dog also means you then live longer to enjoy this time together that’s truly wonderful news for those of us lucky enough to have such a great friend.

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