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Owning A Dog Reduces Heart Risk

The nation’s largest cardiovascular health organization - The American Heart Association - has a new message for Americans:  owning a dog may protect against heart disease! This unusual message was contained in a scientific statement recently published by the AHA.

This new report states that pet owners - especially those with dogs - were in better health than those without pets. Several aspects of this study proved that owning a dog was linked to decreased bodily reaction to stress, and a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present. Pet owners also tend to report greater amounts of physical activity and lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The American Heart Association publishes about three scientific statements each month, usually on more technical matters, however, the organization was prompted to take a stance on the pet issue following the overwhelmingly increasing number of news reports and medical studies linking pet ownership to better health.

Dog owners always have a reason to get outside and take walks as part of regular dog care – so get on out there and feel good about it! Test yourself – if you have high blood pressure and just became a dog owner, get a home blood pressure monitor to check your numbers regularly. Enjoy your pet and good health!

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