We know that pets can make our lives more fun. Some studies now suggest that our four-legged friends can help to improve our cardiovascular health as well. One NIH-funded study looked at 421 adults who’d suffered heart attacks. A year later, the scientists found, dog owners were significantly more likely to still be alive than were those who did not own dogs, regardless of the severity of the heart attack.
Several studies have shown that dog owners may get more exercise and other health benefits than do those without a dog. One NIH-funded investigation looked at more than 2,000 adults and found that dog owners who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn’t own or walk a dog.
Man’s best friend may help you make more human friends, too. Several studies have shown that walking with a dog leads to more conversations and helps you stay socially connected.