Orchard Vet's Blog

Dogs reduce cardiovascular risk


A study of more than 3 million Swedish people has linked dog owners - particularly hunting breeds - to lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease or other causes. The findings are important because of the population size that has been studied.

Dog ownership encourages physical activity, though it may be that already active people choose to own dogs. But owning a dog also increases social contact, enhancing emotional wellbeing. In addition, dogs have an effect on the microscopic life in household dust, exposing their owners to new microbes and allergens and lowering the incidence of allergies and autoimmune disorders.

The research suggests that dogs have an especially protective effect for those living on their own, which is significant because a 2012 Harvard medical study suggested living alone was itself linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular death. In effect, dogs stand in as a family member.

You can read the full report here.

If you are thinking about buying a dog, please do come and talk to us. We can help you choose the right kind of dog, a suitable breed with the right temperament based on your lifestyle.