A new study in Sweden found that owning a dog can extend your life, especially if you live alone.
The study looked at the medical records of 3.4 million people and found that dog owners tend to live longer than other people do. Any time you visit a hospital in Sweden, it gets entered into a database and registering your dog is mandatory there. So the stats are pretty solid.
The study found dog owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or for any other reason. It’s especially true if you’re single. Over the course of 12 years, people who lived alone were 33% less likely to die if they owned a dog. It was 11% for dog owners who didn’t live alone.
It’s not clear why owning a dog extends your life, but the researchers think there are two main benefits: They expose you to more types of bacteria, which strengthens your immune system and you also get more exercise … unless you own an English Bulldog like we do lol!