Great news from Sweden about dogs — if you like dogs, that is: scientists have been studying the relationship between owning a dog and other lifestyle factors such as relationship status and medical risks, and found particularly strong evidence that we should all just admit that dogs are good and get one already.
In a study conducted over 12 years and consisting of nearly 3.4 million people between the ages of 40 and 80, the data is especially useful for singles, who "saw a 33% reduction in death and a 11% reduction in risk of myocardial infarction during follow-up compared to single non-owners.”
The study was done at Uppsala University and published in Nature, and was relative easy to conduct in part thanks to Sweden’s national healthcare system, which allows for more transparent and democratic data collection (hence the large test sample).
While it’s true that many of the health benefits are associated with the amount of walking a dog owner has to do, the researchers think there may be other positive bacterial microbiome effects as well as psychological factors at play. So in that light, the study sets a foundation for more research to be done in tjese areas. Not that you need to convince a dog owner, they’re always happy to see their best friend, even after they’ve done something mischievous.