How your pet dog can save your life

Now that the children have all moved out… and the house feels quiet… maybe you’ve been imagining the pitter-patter of tiny feet back in the hallways again.

You’re done having babies of your own – but now maybe it’s time to get a four-legged baby.

I’m talking about a dog. And it turns out that your peppy pooch may be more than good company – he might actually be saving your life.

A study out of Sweden reviewed a population of about 1.3 million people between the ages of 40 and 75, roughly 170,000 of whom owned dogs.

It seems that man’s best friend lives up to that name – because by far the dog owners showed a lower risk of heart failure and stroke.

The researchers aren’t exactly sure why dog owners’ risk is that much lower. Since depression has been linked to a risk of stroke and other cardiovascular issues, it might just be that seeing Rover at the top of the stairs wagging his tail for you makes your day feel more complete.

A happy heart is a healthy heart!

It certainly doesn’t hurt that your little buddy needs to take a walk or two a day, which gets you up off the couch and out of the house. When you’ve got a dog, you’ll do things for him that you wouldn’t bother doing for yourself – like getting plenty of sunshine and maybe even walking a little faster than usual.

If you’ve already got a furry friend in tow, great! If you don’t, this is probably the best excuse you’ll get to adopt a pooch that needs a good home. After all, while you’re rescuing him, he might just be rescuing you, too.

Previous studies have shown that having a pet can also lower your blood pressure and provide the kind of companionship and emotional support that’s essential to keeping you healthy… and helping you survive if your health should take a turn for the worse.

Even just petting the little fur ball can have an incredibly calming effect if you’re stressed, depressed, lonely, or just having “one of those days.”

Some dogs can even sniff out disease like cancer and diabetes!

Just be careful when you let that furry face get up close to you and give you a big wet one, because dogs (and cats) can carry parasites in their saliva and transmit them to humans that way.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing

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Sources:

Dog Ownership and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A National-wide Cohort Study, circ.ahajournals.org/

To Avoid Heart Disease Forget Diet, Get a Dog, acsh.org/

Is Having a Pet Good for Your Health? livescience.com/

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