According to new research, owning a dog is good for your heart.
A European study has examined the association of pet ownership with cardiovascular health and risks has found that dog ownership can have a positive impact on a person’s heart health.
The research published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings involved 1,769 people aged between 25 to 64 living in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic from January 2013 to December 2014.
Participants – who had no history of heart disease – provided information including their BMI, diet, physical activity levels, whether they smoked, blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting blood sugar level.
Of the total, around 42 per cent owned a pet: 24 per cent owned a dog, while 17.9 per cent another type of animal.
Dog owners were more likely to exercise, have an ideal diet and blood glucose level than those who didn't. However, they were also more likely to smoke. Still, overall they scored better on the test for cardiovascular health.
As part of the study, participants are due to be evaluated every five years until 2030.
This isn't the first time canines have been linked with improved health.
A study published last year in the journal BMC Psychiatry looking at 17 existing papers concluded having a pet could ease symptoms of mental illness.
Another paper published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2017 similarly linked pet dogs with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a lower overall risk of death.
Study co-author Andrea Maugeri, a researcher with the International Clinical Research Center at St. Anne's University Hospital in Brno and Italy's University of Catania, commented in a statement:
"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."
Main image by @retreieverpuppies
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