DOG OWNERSHIP LINKED
TO LIVING LONGER
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.