People who are already dog owners don’t have to be told this.  They already know.  But a new study published by the American Heart Association shows that owning a dog may lower your risk of dying by 24%!  It showed that people who had already suffered from a heart attack or stroke may benefit the most from a companion animal.  And this is not some fly-by-night study.  It reviews evidence from several decades.

Furthermore, dogs are particularly healthy for people who live alone, since loneliness and sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors for premature death.  That’s not at all hard to believe.  I married into a dog house 6 years ago and it’s hard to imagine looking back now.  On the occasions that my wife has to be away, I’m at the point where it would be kind of freaky if the dogs weren’t there to keep me company.  (It doesn’t help that it always sounds like someone is walking around upstairs when there’s no-one there!)

Another part of it that makes perfect sense — dogs are a great motivation for people to get up and walk, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

I’ll say it again:  dogs rock!

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