Sometimes I just don’t like to listen to the news. Some days it seems there is one heartbreaking or scary story after the next. Some of the stories I hear on the news give me nightmares.
But oh how this week was different. The more I listened to the news this week, the more I found myself talking back to the TV and radio telling the announcer, “I told you so!”
The last week or so has been fantastic for information that has come out about the health benefits of owning a pet — and specifically a dog. There have been three discussions or studies all in one week about how having a pet will reduce your anxiety, help your heart and help you live longer.
The first one I heard about was a significant study that came out from Sweden that was published in the journal “Scientific Reports.” It studied 3.4 million individuals ages 40-80 over a 12-year period.
According to the study, dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death. The study showed the greatest benefit is for single people age 40-80 who live alone. Owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33 percent, their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36 percent and chances of heart attack by 11 percent compared to single people in the same age range with no pet.
People who did not live alone but had a pet did show benefits of having a dog but to a lesser degree. The theory is the person who lives alone is solely responsible for caring for, walking with and interacting with the dog and, therefore, gets the greater reward.
The second recent report about the benefits of having a pet was from CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s presentation on Living to 100. He mentions people with pets tend to be more social and have less anxiety and depression. He also referred to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison showing that children with pets have 33 percent fewer allergies.
The third tidbit came from my favorite radio person, John Tesh, who regularly reports health studies. The study he reported was that it’s been found that kids who have dogs have less anxiety disorders than kids who don’t have dogs.
Now I want to invite you to an event where you can get that dog that will improve your health.
Save A Pet in Forsyth has some of the greatest dogs in their brand new shelter at 618 Maynard Church Road that are looking for their perfect family for Christmas. And it just so happens that Save a Pet is having two open houses next week.
The first is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 6 and the second is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 9. There will be free sandwiches and beverages, as well as a tour of the new facility. You can always shop in their gift shop for Christmas presents. For information, call 478-994-3882.
But the main thing you can do is look at the beautiful dogs they have for adoption. Their dogs are well cared for and in terrific health. And according to recent studies, they can boost your health, too.