DOG OWNERSHIP LINKED

TO LIVING LONGER

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Have You Heard? -

Own­ing a dog could lengthen your life, ac­cord­ing to a new study. Re­searchers study­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease came to the con­clu­sion after ex­am­in­ing data from 3.4 mil­lion Swedes aged be­tween 40 and 80. Ev­ery­thing from reg­is­ter­ing a dog to vis­it­ing a hos­pi­tal re­quires pre­sen­ta­tion of a unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber in Swe­den, so the team from Upp­sala Univer­sity were able to ac­cess an anonymised set of data from na­tional reg­istries. “I met an­other sci­en­tist who had a stroke six months pre­vi­ously, and he told me ‘it was my dog that saved me,’” said Pro­fes­sor Tove Fall, a vet­eri­nar­ian who co-au­thored the re­search. While the study does not spec­u­late on why the crea­tures might be bet­ter for life longevity, Pro­fes­sor Fall sug­gested that “there could be direct ef­fects of hav­ing a dog, such as more mo­ti­va­tion for phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.” She added: “There might also be very im­por­tant ef­fects of so­cial sup­port you get, from your dog and meet­ing peo­ple through your dog.” The sci­en­tists also spec­u­late there could be a link with the mi­cro­biome. The dirt and germs that come nat­u­rally with a dog might boost its owner’s im­mune sys­tem.

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