Puppy Love: Owning a Dog Linked to Better Heart Health

By Samantha Mathewson

Good news for dog owners: Man’s best friend may help lower a person’s risk of heart disease, a new study from Sweden finds.

In the study, the researchers looked at the relationship between dog ownership and cardiovascular health. The results suggest that dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease because the four-legged friends provide social support and boost their owners’ physical activity.

Owning a pet dog may be particularly beneficial for people who live alone, the study found.

“A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household,” lead study author Mwenya Mubanga, a doctoral student in the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University in Sweden, said in a statement.

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