Researchers looked at the medical records of about four million people from the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.K. And they found people with dogs are 24% less likely to die young for ANY reason.
Dog owners also have a 31% reduced risk of dying from heart disease. And when they do have a heart attack or stroke, they tend to recover faster. The authors of the study found an even bigger difference for people who lived alone but had dogs. So companionship has a lot to do with it.
And the fact that dog owners get more exercise also plays a big role. Previous studies have found people who walk their dogs get up to 30 more minutes of exercise a day. And even just petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure.