Now there’s even more of a reason to get a dog: it might help you live longer. A Swedish study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports Friday found that dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, amongst other benefits.
Fox8 reports people who own dogs benefit from increased physical activity (Fido has to go for a walk, right?), as well as support and companionship. For people living alone, man’s best friend can decrease your risk of death by 33% and your risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36% compared to people who live alone that don’t have a pet.
The benefits don’t only extend to those that live alone, although they have the greatest incentive to adopt a furry family member. Multi-person homes see an 11% decrease in their charge of death with a dog at home and a 15% lower chance of death due to cardiovascular disease.
Researchers found a benefit in owning dogs of all breeds, however, the owners of hunting breeds such as retrievers, terriers, and scent hounds saw the most protection from death and cardiovascular disease.
While researchers say there’s still more to investigate, benefits are thought to also come in part from increased immunity thanks to dogs bringing dirt into the home from outdoors.