”It may encourage owners to improve their social life, and that in itself will reduce their stress level, which we know absolutely is a primary cause for cardiovascular disease and cardiac events,” said Dr. Rachel Bond of Lenox Hill Hospital NYC told CNN.
The researcher’s work is far from over. There is no question that dogs do have health benefits. But they are not sure how dogs achieve such results and why some breeds offer more protection than others.
One of the angles they are looking at is that perhaps active dogs are more likely to have active owners compared to smaller dogs that do not require as much exercise. A person’s genetics should also be factored in.
“It is hard to say if there truly is a causal effect. This study in particular, excluded patients with heart disease in general, and we know that disabled people may be less likely to own a dog. So that really raises the question if owning a dog lead to heart health or is it merely a marker for people who are more likely to have good heart health,” said Dr. Bond.
Fall believes the study can be conducted in countries other than Sweden–such as the United States. After all, they have similar popular breeds and approach to dog care.
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