Science 2 min read

Owning a Dog May Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Researchers have found a link between owning a dog and improved cardiovascular health.

Dog owners usually have to participate in activities with their pet – whether it’s walking the dog or playing with it. As a result, previous studies have suggested that having a dog reduces the perception of social isolation, which, in turn, leads to better mental health.

Now researchers at the International Clinic Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital and the University of Catania are saying that the benefit of owning a dog extends beyond improved mental health. It could also help maintain a healthy heart.

Between January 2013 and December 2014, the team established first baseline health and socio-economic information on more than 2,000 participants from Brno, Czech Republic. Then, they conducted a five-year interval follow-up to be completed in 2030.

In the 2019 evaluation, the researchers examined over 1,700 participants who had no history of heart diseases and scored them based on Life’s Simple seven ideal health behaviors and factors.

As outlined by the American Heart Association, these include diet, physical activity, body mass index, smoking status, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose.

Finally, the researchers compared the cardiovascular health scores of non-pet owners to pet owners. They also made a comparison between dog owners and respondents who own other pets.

How Owning a Dog Can Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

The findings revealed that dog owners tend to enjoy an ideal blood sugar level, better diet, and more physical activities. Furthermore, the advantage of canines friends remains constant regardless of the owners’ age, sex, or education level.

In a statement, a researcher with the International Clinical Research Center at St. Anne’s University Hospital, Andrea Maugeri, Ph.D., said:

“In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at an ideal level. The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level.”

The study is in line with the American Heart Association’s statement of how a dog could increase its owners’ physical activity and engagement. This would ultimately result in a reduction of cardiovascular disease risk.

Dr. Maugeri recommends that people adopt, rescue, or purchase a pet as a way of improving their cardiovascular health.

Read More: New Study Says Petting Dogs And Cats Can Relieve Stress

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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