Monday, January 22, 2007

How a dog's life can make you happier

The Independent
By Martin Hodgson
Published: 22 January 2007

If you are looking for a healthier life, get a dog.    Scientists have long believed that the companionship of a pet can be good for you, but new research suggests that dog owners are physically healthier than cat owners.

According to Deborah Wells from Queen's University, Belfast, dog owners tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, possibly thanks to regular walks with their four-legged friends.

Writing in the British Journal of Health Psychology, Dr Wells said that dog owners appear to suffer from fewer minor ailments as well as fewer serious medical problems.

In a review of dozens of previous studies, Dr Wells found that dogs also seem to aid recovery from serious illnesses, such as heart attacks.    One study published in 1995 found that dog owners were more likely, by about 8.6 per cent, to be alive one year after a heart attack than those who do not own a dog . . . .


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