Hugging a dog is one life’s greatest joys. Getting to see fur on four legs and a wagging tail is like experiencing a love drug — quite literally. Dogs and humans that interact with one another get a jolt of oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle hormone.” And, if you get to look at dogs and hug them every day, you just might live longer than people who don’t have to clean animal hair off their clothes, People who own dogs may live longer and benefit from improved cardiovascular health, new research has found.
According to a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, dog ownership could be particularly beneficial to heart attack and stroke survivors who live alone. The research, carried out by professors at Uppsala University, examined Swedish residents aged 40 to 85 who experienced a heart attack or stroke between 2001 and 2012. The study found that people who suffered a heart attack and lived alone were 33 per less likely to die after being released from the hospital if they owned a dog.