Owning a dog can reduce your chances of dying early, new study says

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They’re called man’s best friend for many reasons. And here’s one more for you: Owning a dog can reduce the chance of dying early.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association combed through 70 years of research, involving nearly 4 million people in several countries.

It found owning a dog was linked to a 24% reduction in all mortality causes. And for people who suffered a heart attack or stroke, having a four-legged companion reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 31%.

This was echoed by a second study that also found people who owned dogs had better health outcomes after suffering a stroke or heart attack.

It’s unclear exactly what the link is, but there are guesses, like for instance, increased activity.

The American Heart Association points to a study that found pet owners who walk their dogs get 30 more minutes of exercise per day than those who don’t walk.

And other studies have found that just petting a dog or having a canine companion can reduce your blood pressure and reduce anxiety and depression.

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