Owning A Dog Increases Your Chances To Survive Stroke & Heart Attacks

For centuries, dogs have been considered as man’s best friend, and it seems that friendship isn’t only physical. A scientific study has now established that cardiac ailment patients with dogs have higher chances of survival as opposed to those without precious pets.
The study that was conducted in Canada is only but a confirmation to earlier research that a Swedish university had carried out. It’s now a double rejoice for dog owners who are honored with extended lifespans for their dedication to their barking friends.
It isn’t a coincidence that two carefully carried studies are giving nearly the same result. The delightful part is that the studies were performed at varying periods and in different locations.
The latest research that was conducted at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, laid bare how dog owners have an advantage in battling stroke, heart attacks, and other cardiac issues. The research revealed that cardiac-related diseases patients who have dogs have a 31% death risk if compared with those without dogs.
It never ended there; the revelation will be sweet to anyone keeping dogs even if they don’t suffer from any cardiac ailments. The study further established that by virtue of owning a dog, your mortality from all causes is reduced by 24%.

The initial study in Sweden 

It isn’t the outcome of the study that makes pet parents justify their reasons for keeping lovely animals, but the curiosity that sets the researchers on that path. It could be that someone has been secretly envious of how dog owners with cardiac ailments manage their conditions.
In 2012, researchers from Uppsala University,in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences,
conducted a study to determine the relationship of having a dog and the low death risk for cardiac-related diseases.
The two organizations are based in Uppsala in the Scandinavian country. The study entailed 
retrieving information from the Swedish Patient National Register to find details of patients 
aged 40-85 with cardiac histories. The researched gathered details of individuals who have 
experienced stroke and heart attacks between 2001 and 2012.  
The research obtained a total of 344272 people who had previously experienced either an 
ischemic stroke or a heart attack. In that number, 157851 were stroke victims, while the 
remaining 186421 individuals had history of heart attacks in the period. 
The researchers were careful to use factual data to come up with accurate observation. The 
study involved a thorough consultation with both the Swedish Kennel Club and the Swedish 
Board of Agriculture to obtain helpful records.
When the time to make a conclusion came, the researchers had an easy time establishing that 
patients owning dogs had lower risk factor of fatality than patients without pawed animals. 
The study was useful in pointing out that patients who experienced a heart attack in the 
one-decade period had 33% lower risk to death if they owned dogs. The survival index was 
allocated for patients who had undergone hospitalization and lived only with their dogs. A 
further 15% lower risk to death for patients keeping dogs and living with either a partner or a 
The study established that after hospitalization, stroke patients with dogs but stayed alone had 
a 27% lower risk to death when compared to those who didn’t have the hunting animal. There 
was a further 12% lower risk of death for the patients who lived with either their partners or 

The Canadian study 

The second study came out to prove the advantage that cardiac-related patients with dogs have 
over their compatriots who don’t have dogs. The University of Sinai in Toronto conducted 
detailed research that involved ten meta-analyses studies in making their conclusion. 
The research was more comprehensive, given that it utilized the data obtained from 3837005 
patients. However, the study this time placed more emphasis on all-cause mortality with nine 
meta-analyses prioritizing that route. The study was keen to assess what owning a dog had in 
the overall lifespan of a person and a cardiovascular patient. 
 It wasn’t a surprise as the study found that people with dogs have better health conditions than 
individuals without. The research equally revealed that people keeping dogs have a 24% lower 
risk to all causes of fatality. The result is even massive after a history of heart attacks, with 65% 
reduced chances of suffering death. The general cardiovascular illnesses were discovered to be 
lower by 31%. 

What was the reason behind owning a dog lowering death risk? 

According to Dr. Caroline Kramer, owning a dog increases physical exercises and at the same 
time, minimizes the level of blood pressure. Consequently, Kramer explained that reports have 
indicated that the exercise level that dog owners experience rectifies the cholesterol level. 
Kramer sees no surprise with the ultimate outcome terming it as “somewhat expected” when 
one owns a dog. However, one of the biggest exclusions in the study was the lack of instances to 
associate the relationship of better fitness, healthy lifestyles, and owning a dog. 
The researcher reiterated that the next interest would be to study to assess cardiovascular 
result after adopting a dog to find out the advantages that come with owning a dog. 
Furthermore, dogs and other pets make people eliminate solitary feeling. It means that one won’t be lonely, especially if they own dogs. 

Should we all adopt dogs to alleviate our health conditions? 

Owning a pet does not only show the compassion pet parents have for animals, but it also 
indicates how responsible pet owners are. Even though the result massively favors dog owners, 
Prof. Tove Fall, who led the Swedish study, advises that owning a dog shouldn’t be regarded as a 
“medicine” for cardiovascular problems. 
Prof. Fall feels that adopting a dog comes with a lot of sacrifices hence shouldn’t be observed 
only for heart issues. She maintained that one needs to have a better knowledge of the pet they 
one to keep.  
It was an exceptional news to dog owners, but you never know. All pet parents are special in 
their own ways. It could be the owner of parrots or some other pets reading moving stories of 
how their animals have surprising benefits.


A pet enthusiast who keeps five different kinds of animals and writes at Petlife Buzz

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