Dr George Forgan-Smith and his dogs

Dog Ownership Associated With Reduced Heart Disease

Hey there Guys. Today I was interested to see a press release from the American Heart Association shows that pet ownership, in particular dog ownership was associated with reduced risk factors associated with heart disease.

Of the studies reviewed there were the following findings:

  • Dog owners has lower blood pressure
  • Dog owners had better lipid profiles in their blood
  • Dog owners were more likely to take daily physical exercise
  • Dog owners has lower stress levels and recovered faster to stressful situations

There are many reasons for these findings however I believe the biggest impact is that having pets, in particular dogs, encourages people to have daily exercise.

As I have reported before, just 30 minutes of daily movement can make a massive difference to your health. For many of my patients who are looking to reduce weight, blood pressure or stress I always ask “do you have a dog?”

I’ve found that the 30 minute walk each day, while annoying some days, can offer a chance to just relax and take time out from my busy schedule. It’s also a great chance to catch up with my partner and unload some of the stress of the day.

Of course I don’t recommend getting a dog if you are not in a situation to look after one. If you do own a dog give your pup a hug and thank him or her for helping keep you stay healthy!

Yours in great health.

Dr George (as well as Duncan and Saba pictured above)

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