Want To Have A Healthy Heart? Get A Dog

Dr. Deanna Lites
August 24, 2019 - 1:48 pm

(WWJ) - Want to have a healthy heart? Get a dog.

You can lower your risk for heart disease by living a healthy lifestyle -- don't smoke, get regular exercise, eat healthy, maintain a normal weight, and keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under control.

While anyone can do these things, it turns out that dog owners are more likely to follow this healthy lifestyle. A recent study shows that in general, people who own dogs are more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at ideal level.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the study findings support the idea that people can adopt, rescue or purchase a pet as a potential strategy to improve their cardiovascular health, as long as pet ownership leads them to a more physically active lifestyle.

It's not surprising to Dr. Chadi Alaries, a cardiologist with the DMC’s Heart Hospital.

"It is a small observation study that patients who have dogs, they have better compliance in terms of being active compared to others who don't have dogs at home," he said.

Other studies find owning a dog improves your mental health and leads to more socializing.