Want to live a long, healthy life? Get a dog!

That’s according to research done by a team of Swedish scientists who looked at the registries of more than 3.4 million people between the ages of 40 and 80. They wanted to see the relationship between dog ownership and heart health.

They were able to see records because in Sweden, everyone has a unique personal ID, which is tracked whenever they go to a hospital, and dog ownership registration has been mandatory since 2001.

Through that, they found that single dog owners had a 33 percent reduction in risk of death and an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease than people who lived alone and didn’t have a dog.

Researchers say owning a dog in general leads to more physical activity, which may explain the results. It could also be the companionship of having a dog.

You can read more about the research here.

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