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Would you get a dog to help you live longer?

Dogs are not only man’s best friend, but also may be the key to living a longer life, a new study claims.

Our four-legged friends have long been praised for their ability to help mental wellbeing, reducing anxiety and loneliness, but less has been reported about how they might have a positive effect on physical health.

Combining patient data of 3.8 million people from multiple studies, including England, researchers found owning a dog can lead to better cardiovascular outcomes, especially for heart attack and stroke survivors who live alone.

Scientists at the American Heart Association say that compared to those without a pet dog, owners experienced a 24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality and are 65% less likely to die after a heart attack.

Those who had suffered cardiovascular-related issues were also 31% less likely to pass away.

The results support a separate study carried out by Sweden’s Uppsala University, which showed a 33% reduced risk of death for heart attack patients living alone after being released from hospital if they owned a dog.

A similar drop was seen among stroke patients once they were discharged, at 27% lower than those without a dog.

“These two studies provide good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality,” said Glenn N Levine, from the American Heart Association.

“While these non-randomised studies cannot ‘prove’ that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this.”

Dog

Dog owners have a 24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality compared to non-owners, a study said

Professor Tove Fall, from Uppsala University, said keeping a dog can also help because it is a good motivation for physical activity, but warned that further research is needed.

“The results of this study suggest positive effects of dog ownership for patients who have experienced a heart attack or stroke,” she said.

“However, more research is needed to confirm a causal relationship and giving recommendations about prescribing dogs for prevention.

“Moreover, from an animal welfare perspective, dogs should only be acquired by people who feel they have the capacity and knowledge to give the pet a good life.”

Has owning a dog helped improve your lifestyle and wellbeing? Would you consider getting a dog to help you live longer? Share your views at Speakers Corner 

Would you get a dog to help you live longer?

393 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Surfer Pete
1 hours ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Anything that gets people out walking is a winner! Plus the company that a dog provides is bound to have a positive effect on mental health.
Munsterlander
8 hours ago
1
Thanks for voting!
Well it has worked for me. AS you can see I love dogs (we have Munsterlanders) and I am in my 70's and looking forward to reaching 100 not out!
Felix1
6 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Depends on your age and physical well-being. Not fair to the dog if it will outlive you.
CaroB4
6 days ago
3
Thanks for voting!
I have a 6 year old dog...and now a 5 month old pup! They ensure I get up in the mornings, walk them...feed them...cuddle them....and train them! They are my best friends and I wouldn't be without them. I talk to them all the time and believe me they understand most of it! They are usually one step ahead of me as they read my body language...if I put my lipstick on they are at the front door convinced it means a walk! Unconditional love...where else would I get it! If I am happy they are happy too...if I am sad the older dog comes and cuddles me, licks my hand until I let her know I feel better! The exercise I get from having them must be beneficial because I probably wouldn't make the effort otherwise! They are so clever...never underestimate your pet! The more you interact with the them the more you will understand each other...and life is good!
Lionel
14th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I've lived with and worked Border Collies for 48 years; it's the only breed for me. Brains and beauty.

My wife and I until recently had a family of them, bred at home, and now reduced to an old man and a 6 month old pup. Just to watch them playing together ... it's a joy.

I don't know if all these dogs have contributed to a long life; we're just 68 now. But I can say they've brought so many years of joy, of fun and of faithful friendship most humans can't understand let alone offer.

We lost an elderly dog and his bitch in just 10 days this year. That's the part of dog keeping we prefer not to dwell on until it happens.
RubyRedd
14th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
My life has been greatly enhanced since Lacey my Standard Longhaired Dachshund came to stay in her furever home six years ago.
She was unwanted by the cruel breeder that used her as a puppy machine for five years. She had never known love or comfort, being kept in a shed with no windows. I dread to think how awful her past life actually was.
I live alone most of the year as my husband works overseas and she is such a comfort and great company. She wakes me every morning with a little sqeak and I love taking her out and about whether it's walking in the park or shopping. We go everywhere together!
So anyone not sure I will say do it and go to a rehoming centre and find your forever friend.....so many dogs are abandoned for one reason or other. Give a rescue dog a home and you will never feel lonely again!!
JanetteJ7
12th Oct 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
I can’t imagine my life without a dog, or two!
Raindrop
12th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I have always kept a dog until a few years ago but due to mobility problems I will just stick with my cat for company now. Also it is much easier to ask a neighbour to feed him than pay for kennel fees when I go visiting my family in England.
Retiredyorkie
11th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Why not ? If you feel its right for you.
SueC62
11th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I've never had a dog and can't see me ever having one. I'm far too busy and want to retain the freedom to do and go where and when I want without restrictions. I go to the gym regularly which offers more varied exercise.
sparrer
11th Oct 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes definitely if I was well enough. Had dogs for 68 years and sadly lost my last lad 18 months ago, have now got heart/lung disease so couldn't take care of a dog as it deserves. Heart breaking but have to get my 'doggy fix' from family and friends dogs.
VeraS
11th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Would love to have a dog but at my age it would be unfair
CaroB4
19 hours ago
0
Thanks for voting!
You could always adopt an older dog...the RSPCA /Blue Cross etc often have older dogs who have lost their owners...and would love to be in a home again.
MrsPat
11th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Love Love Love Dogs. they are the most wonderful creatures. They love us more than they love themselves and are so loyal and friendly. We have one and also sometimes my daughters who is a real scamp but we love him as well.
RosemaryF5
11th Oct 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Have always had a dog until recently and now I share my daughter's Labrador when I go to visit. Sadly because of my age although I would love another dog I am a little too old to care for one properly.
Irene88
11th Oct 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
Had our rescue dog just over three years. Walking daily I have lost over a stone in weight and am much fitter. Our Miasie is a bundle of joy and so loving. The only down side is that you must realise you can't just go anywhere on holiday the dog must come too, Afterall she is family.
CaroB4
19 hours ago
0
Thanks for voting!
So agree. Our dog and cat both came on holiday with us...even to the Var in France where we had a home for a while...then caravanning all over from Normandy to Languedoc! They loved it! We couldn't have gone without them...and I could never leave my two dogs behind now that I am alone. If I go...they go! My best pals!
Alicia
11th Oct 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
No, I hate dogs since one bit me 🙁
robsueread
11th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
Had our Bruce for 14yrs but sadly had to have him put to sleep last year he was the best pet I could have wished for he certainly kept me on my toes,but it’s very hard as my family wants me to get another dog.We will be moving home soon it might then feel right to have another dog then,but I say to fellow readers it’s one of the best animals to get. Lv to all.
Wilf
10th Oct 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
We have 2 dogs and they are just as much part of the family as our kids. In fact more as the kids have all left home and the dogs do as they are told. Every night we watch tv and the "Boys" as we call them come up onto the sofa as well for a sleep and to be stroked. We go on frequent walks so not only do they help us get exercise but they calm you down and are loving friends.
jeanmark
9th Oct 2019
6
Thanks for voting!
I would get a dog for the pleasure of having a loyal friend, that I got exercise as a result would be a bonus not the reason.
Marley444
9th Oct 2019
5
Thanks for voting!
Having a dog means you have to go for a walk whatever the weather or how you are feeling. There is no way I would get my daily 10,000 steps in if I didn't have a dog. My dog is one of my best friends, and I couldn't imagine every having a home without a dog.

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