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Dog ownership was *especially* beneficial for people living *alone*.

"Dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death", Mubanga said. "We see effects in the single households that are much stronger than in multiple-person households", she said.

A single dog owner is likely the only person who regularly walks and interacts with her pet, which could contribute to these individuals' reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to the study. While people who live alone are not necessarily lonely, many in the Swedish study seemed to benefit disproportionately from having a dog around.

The study found that owners of hunting breeds like terriers, retriever and scent hounds got the most protection, but the study's senior author said that owning any dog was enough to reduce an owner's risk of death.

The team from Uppsala University in Sweden analysed data from 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 by combing through a national database of hospital visit records and dog ownership registrations.

"This could be because if you're the sole pet owner, you get more physical activity, and it could also show that dogs help alleviate stress from loneliness".

Shirlaine Forrest  WireImage via Getty ImagesPandora a Keeshond attends the National Pet Show on Nov. 4 2017 in Birmingham England
Shirlaine Forrest WireImage via Getty ImagesPandora a Keeshond attends the National Pet Show on Nov. 4 2017 in Birmingham England

Fall added that because all participants of the study were Swedish, the results most closely apply to dog owners in Sweden or other "European populations with similar culture regarding dog ownership".

People in possession of a pooch were less likely to have cardiovascular disease or die from any cause during the 12 years covered by the study, according to the study published in Scientific Reports.

"We know that dog owners, in general, have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results". Meta-analyses have confirmed dog owners are more active-especially in poor weather-than non-owners, and the animals can act as social supports, improving an owner's perception of their well-being.

"However, as many dog owners may agree, the main reason for owning a dog is the sheer joy".

Wolf-Klein believes that whatever the reasons behind the health benefit shown in the study, adopting a furry companion from a nearby shelter might be just what the doctor ordered. Studies have also suggested that dog owners have lower reactivity to stress and faster recovery of blood pressure following stressful events. "In the Swedish system, we can trace people from birth to death", epidemiologist Tove Fall told Newsweek. They also probably apply to the United States, she says.

Trump and his awkward way of "staying hydrated"
Yes, but what makes the move even more freakish is the fact that back in 2013, the now-president called U.S. He kept staring forward while he opened the cap and lifted the bottle to take a sip.