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Are There Many Health Benefits to Owning a Dog?

It turns out that man’s best friend offers more than just companionship. A Swedish study published in 2017 in Scientific Reports says that for people living alone, owning a dog can reduce the risk of death by 33 percent and, specifically, cut the risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36 percent, compared to singles who aren’t dog owners. Additionally, the chances of a heart attack were found to be 11 percent lower. The benefits of dog ownership, the researchers said, include increased physical activity, emotional support, and, of course, unwavering companionship.

Dog is my co-pilot:

  • The study also found that the benefits of dog ownership were highest for singles who lived with traditional hunting breeds, such as terriers, retrievers, and scent hounds -- perhaps because activity levels are typically higher.

  • Other studies have suggested that growing up with a dog can decrease allergies and asthma in children.

  • Previous research has also suggested that dog owners handle stress better and recover more quickly from events that cause blood pressure to spike.

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