You’ll never see me anywhere arguing against the value of having and loving pets.
The minute I moved out of my parents’ house and into my own place, I started plotting to get my very own fur baby. Not only are pets always there to listen when you’ve had a bad day, they can also keep you active on walks and show off their hilarious quirks that will keep you laughing all day long.
You may have heard that people with pets live longer lives, too. Scientists have been studying the reasons why for ages, and a recent study suggests that if you’re a dog person you have a lot to celebrate. Here’s how having a dog can add years to your life.
At Uppsala University in Sweden, scientists studied more than 3.4 million Swedes with no history of heart disease. Because all hospital visits in Sweden are linked to a personal identification number and all dogs are registered with the government, it created an ideal scenario for studying health and pups’ effect on it.
The findings were really interesting. First, you were less at risk of dying of cardiovascular disease if you owned a purebred dog. Owners with mixed breeds had more mixed results.
They also studied the difference between multi-person houses and single people’s houses, and the results suggest that dogs really are part of the family. In the homes with several people, cardiovascular risk declined by 11 percent. That number went up to 15 percent in single households.