Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease . Why? Dog owners walk more and have lower blood pressure than people who do not have dogs. Pets can also be good for you if you already have heart problems. Heart attack survivors and people with serious abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than people do with the same heart problems that do not have pets, studies show. You still have to watch your weight and exercise. However, having a pet can help you manage your blood pressure. In one study of 240 married couples, pet owners had lower blood pressure and lower heart rates during rest than people who did not own a pet. That held true whether they were at rest or undergoing stress tests. Another study showed that children with hypertension lowered their blood pressure while petting their dog.
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