A study published in Circulation, the scientific journal ofAmerican Heart Association, has confirmed for the first time that living with a dog would involve a lower risk of contracting the most frequent diseases. According to research having a dog improves the quality of life. The news reached Italy thanks to the portal dottoremaeveroche.it, site of the National Foundation of the Orders of Surgeons and Dentists (FNOMCeO) created to provide scientifically reliable answers to common questions such as Does having a dog extend your life?

A 70-year research

The study, mainly conducted by endocrinologist Caroline Kramer, started with systematic review of nearly 70 years of research on the subject, published between 1950 and 2019. An enormous work that involved a total of almost 4 million people distributed throughout the world. The data showed that Having a dog reduces mortality from all causes by 24%. The novelty of this research lies in having analyzed and grouped several studies for specific diseases and crossed them so as to be able to have a complete picture. This allowed the researchers to state that the dog improves the quality of life and reduces the risk of death from all diseases.

Why does the dog extend its life?

This study managed to find one for the first time scientific correlation between the physical and psychic benefits of owning a dog. Some of these relate to the benefits of the domestic dog for heart disease patients. In particular stroke or heart attack survivors living alone with a dog reduce the risk of death by 33% compared to those who do not have a pet. But it doesn’t stop there; it seems that dog owners have better cholesterol and blood pressure values and that they suffer less from anxiety and depression.

A friendship that makes the difference

Owning a dog means doing physical activity: it takes about 30 minutes of walking to stay active and improve your overall health. But the benefits aren’t just physical. Having a pet helps people who experience anxiety and emotional stress to take care of themselves. Having a 4-legged friend from childhood positively affects the social, cognitive and emotional development of the child. The dog is also a faithful companion for the handicapped, for people with autism and is even able to detect epileptic seizures before they occur.

Not just dogs

Several studies show that too other animals can contribute to our psychophysical well-being. According to a study byIndiana University watching cat videos would be enough to relieve negative feelings and arouse positive emotions. More generally, however, we can think of all the animals used in the pet-terapy and for how many pathologies this is recommended.