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Dog ownership adds years of life

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

New medical analysis highlights a life-style choice that can increase your longevity — without giving up any of the indulgences or past-times you’ve come to enjoy. CIRCULATION, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association, cites data from 3,000,000 people, showing that dog owners are likely to live significantly longer than those without dogs.

Researchers calculated a 24% risk reduction for death from any cause, with even greater benefits for dog owners with heart problems.

Dogs help their companions avoid the sedentary life-style and loneliness that produce devastating health effects: walking Rover every day may not involve strenuous exertion but it does force you off the couch. And coming home to an adoring pet can help to manage stress and avoid emotional isolation.

Those of us who love dogs instinctively feel they’re good for the soul. But this research shows they’re good for our health as well.

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