Good News Dog Lovers—A New Study Says Having a Dog is Good for Your Heart
In honor of National Dog Day, here’s how your four-legged friend can keep your heart healthy.
You love your dog and it’s clear that your dog loves you, too. It might even seem like your dog has big heart eyes when they look at you because they appreciate all of those walks and treats. As if receiving unconditional love isn’t enough, new research suggests that your dog may be good for your heart.
According to a new study released by the Mayo Clinic, owning a pet, especially a dog, can help you maintain a healthy heart.
"It's nice to see that something we enjoy, like having a dog, is related to better heart health," Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, lead author of the study told ABC News.
For the study, researchers looked at the cardiovascular health and socioeconomic information of more than 2,000 people in Brno, Czech Republic. The study started in 2013 and researchers plan to check in on participants every five years until 2030.
The latest check-in was this year. Researchers found that pet owners are more physically active, maintain healthier diets and have more balanced blood sugar levels than non-pet owners. All these factors contribute to helping cardiovascular health.
“Studies have shown owning a dog actually increases social life,” Lopez-Jimenez said. “People are more likely to talk to others who have dogs." He also cited other studies that show that dog owners are less likely to be depressed and have reported better moods overall. All those belly rubs and sloppy kisses seem to be the best type of medicine.
So, if you are a dog owner, give that pup an extra snuggle and make their next walk a little longer. If you aren’t a dog owner but have been thinking about adding a pooch to your family, check out your local shelters for a future fur baby. Your heart will thank you.