Writing in Psychology Today, Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C., says pet ownership can increase longevity in people with health risk issues.
The research team looked at 4,039 individuals diagnosed with hypertension (chronic high blood pressure) between the ages of 65 and 84. They started with the fact that 36% of the study sample currently lived with pets, while 86% had lived with a pet at some point in their lives.
Dr. Coren was somewhat surprised by the results. “Over the 11-year period that these high-risk people were monitored, the survival rate was improved by 26 percent in the individuals who currently owned pet; even more surprising, it was improved by 22 percent in individuals who had previously owned a pet.
Although previous studies have found dogs to have a bigger impact on health than cats (who knew?), this study didn’t find any difference between the two species.
Might be worth asking your doctor to prescribe a dog for you. Wonder if Obamacare would pay for it?
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!