(WSVN) - Owning a dog can provide happiness, comfort, a source of physical activity, and much more. But did you know your dog could be saving your life?

A new study published in Sweden’s Scientific Reports has found that owning a dog reduces peoples’ risk of death, especially cardiovascular-related death.

A dog can decrease the risk of death by 33 percent and the risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36 percent for people who live alone versus singles without a pet.

The risk of death fell by 11 percent in households with multiple people. Their chances of cardiovascular death fell by 15 percent.

“A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household,” said Mwenya Mubanga, an author who worked on the study.

According to the study, single dog owners had greater protection from cardiovascular disease and death because they were the sole person interacting with their pet as opposed to couples and families.

The study, which spanned a 12-year period, involved 3.4 million Swedish people between the ages of 40-80.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox