Everyone knows that kids and dogs go perfectly together.
But what about older folks?
Researchers in Sweden say if you’re a senior, there may be bigger benefits to the idea of a dog being your best friend than you ever imagined.
In fact, according to their study, having a pooch for a pet may literally save your life.
Senior dog owners have a significantly lower death rate
Using the data contained in a national registry of residents that includes required information on furry family members, the researchers found a lower death rate from heart disease—or any cause, for that matter — among seniors who owned dogs.
The study was presented at a symposium sponsored by the American Heart Association, which just last year put out a statement saying that owning a pup is a good way to improve your cardiac health.
One likely reason is that having a dog in your life practically guarantees you’ll be getting some exercise every single day.
And that can bring along all the benefits of regular exercise,
- such as lower blood pressure,
- dropping some pounds,
- and of course, lowering your risk of developing diabetes.
Benefits confirmed by and earlier Harvard study as well.
But that’s not the only way our furry friends are helping us live longer, happier and healthier lives.
Dog owners are less stressed and depressed
It’s also thought that having a companion animal makes it less likely you’ll become depressed, particularly if you live alone, as that statistically puts you at a greater risk.
Other big benefits to becoming a dog parent (or grandparent!), include:
Making new friends:
There’s no better way to meet people and form friendships than taking your buddy for a walk or to the park.
Dogs can help you de-stress:
Petting a dog has been found to elevate your levels of serotonin and dopamine and help you relax.
There will always be someone to welcome you home:
If you’ve been away for five minutes or five hours, no one will make a bigger fuss over your homecoming than your dog!
If you’re ready to find just the right pooch to be your pal, remember that your local dog shelter is the perfect place to look. And no pup will ever be more grateful and loving than one who has been given a second chance for a happy life.
Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert. Through HSI, she and her team uncover important health information and expose ridiculous health misinformation, most notably through the HSI e-Alert.
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