Turns Out, Having A Dog Has Surprising Benefits For Your Heart Health

Henrietta Strickland
August 25, 2019

The study examines the association of pet ownership-specifically dog ownership-with cardiovascular disease risk factors and cardiovascular health.

The study also says that dog owners are more likely to not be depressed because they have an active social life.

The study collected information on 1,769 people, none of whom had a history of heart disease, living in Brno, Czech Republic. When a dog inadvertently gets his or her owner to exercise, they in turn are improving the owner's cardiovascular health.

Dr Maugeri, from Catania university in Italy, said the finding that owners of dogs had a better chance of being in good shape backed up American Heart Association advice.

A study published Friday suggested that having a dog could be good for an owner's cardiovascular health.

"In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet, and blood sugar at ideal level", said researcher Andrea Maugeri, PhD.

The researchers found that older dog owners who participate in daily activities with their pets are more active than their peers who don't have pets.

Besides the factor of smoking, dog owners were more likely to "achieve recommended level" of behavioral CVH metrics, which includes physical activity and diet, than non-dog owners - this translates into better CVH, the study said.

The International Clinical Research Centre at St Anne's University in Brno carried out the study.

Regardless of a participant's age, education level, or sex, the researchers found that people who owned pets were healthier than non-pet owners and that the greatest benefits were experienced by dog owners. This responsibility prods the pet owner to stay active even if they're feeling lazy, and leading a physically active lifestyle helps lower one's odds of developing heart disease later in life.

When they boost your mood, your dog is boosting your heart health too, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist reported.

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