Dog ownership has been associated with decreased cardiovascular risk. Recent reports have suggested an association of dog companionship with lower blood pressure levels, improved lipid profile, and diminished sympathetic responses to stress.
Dog ownership was associated with a 24% risk reduction for all-cause mortality as compared to nonownership (relative risk, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.67–0.86) with 6 studies demonstrating significant reduction in the risk of death. Notably, in individuals with prior coronary events, living in a home with a dog was associated with an even more pronounced risk reduction for all-cause mortality (relative risk, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.17–0.69; I2, 0%). Moreover, when we restricted the analyses to studies evaluating cardiovascular mortality, dog ownership conferred a 31% risk reduction for cardiovascular death (relative risk, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.67–0.71; I2, 5.1%).
Dog ownership is associated with lower risk of death over the long term, which is possibly driven by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality