Want to Live a Longer Life? Get a Dog

iStock.com/Vasyl Dolmatov
iStock.com/Vasyl Dolmatov

If you're contemplating ​getting a dog, recent scientific research provides a great reason why you should go for it. Owning a dog seems to be good for your health. According to a Swedish study published in Scientific Reports in 2017, dog owners have a reduced risk of death compared to non-owners.

The benefits seem to be most significant for people who live by themselves. In single-person households, dog ownership is associated with a 33 percent reduction in mortality risk and an 11 percent reduction in the risk of heart attacks compared to individuals who live alone and don’t have a dog.

Dog ownership doesn't just benefit singles, though. Among multi-person households, the researchers found that having a dog reduced the overall risk of death by 11 percent, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 15 percent, according to Fox8.

And though researchers found a benefit in dog ownership of all breeds, owners of hunting breeds such as ​retrievers, terriers, and scent hounds showed the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease.

One major caveat with these results is that the study couldn't provide direct evidence that getting a dog causes you to be healthier or prevents cardiovascular disease, just that people who own dogs tend to have lower mortality rates associated with cardiovascular disease. There may be an ancillary reason that dog owners, on the whole, have fewer fatal cardiovascular issues, such as that people who walk their dog every day often get more exercise than the general population. But it could also be that the type of people who get dogs also tend to be healthier for whatever reason.

But if you're on the fence about owning a dog, just know that getting one could be a life-extending decision.

And there are plenty of other benefits that come with owning a dog. Read more about them here.

Cat That Went Missing In Portland, Oregon Shows Up in Santa Fe, New Mexico—Five Years Later

Oleksandr Shchus/iStock via Getty Images
Oleksandr Shchus/iStock via Getty Images

A few weeks ago, 31-year-old medical student Viktor Usov answered a call from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter claiming to have found his cat, Sasha, who had wandered off five years ago—and 1300 miles away from New Mexico.

Usov, who lives in Portland, Oregon, first thought it was surely a different cat. But his name was listed on the microchip, and the shelter workers described a black, long-haired, friendly feline that sounded exactly like Sasha.

According to OregonLive.com, after Usov adopted the cat from the Oregon Humane Society six years ago, his tender loving care (and his mother’s acupuncture treatments) helped cure Sasha’s distended stomach and chronically runny nose. Sasha soon became affable and spirited, even forming a friendship with Usov’s labradoodle puppy, Tara.

A year later, when Sasha disappeared during a walk, Usov assumed the worst.

“We waited a week or so, but when we didn’t get a call from the Humane Society and no one returned him, we figured a coyote got him,” Usov told OregonLive.com. “We were upset but we moved on.”

Not only did Sasha evade every coyote from Portland to Santa Fe, he also somehow managed to stay well-fed and healthy during his epic journey south.

“How [he] managed to survive to get here is the million-dollar question,” Santa Fe Animal Shelter spokesperson Murad Kirdar told the Santa Fe Reporter. “I can tell you [he] hasn’t missed a meal.”

While Kirdar thinks Sasha might have hitched rides on U-Hauls, trains, and/or cars, Usov imagines that his beloved pet embarked on a spectacular sightseeing tour of the West.

“He went on a grand American adventure,” he told KGW. “He stopped by the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake; he saw the monuments, all the national parks, definitely Redwood Forest.”

Sasha might be more adventurous than most house cats, but he’s far from the only one who has turned up years later and miles away—find out the incredible lost-and-found stories of Alfie, Crockett, and seven other cats here.

[h/t OregonLive.com]

Maine Man Catches a Rare Cotton Candy Lobster—For the Second Time

RnDmS/iStock via Getty Images
RnDmS/iStock via Getty Images

Just three months after a cotton candy lobster was caught off the coast of Maine, another Maine resident has reeled in one of the rare, colorful creatures.

Kim Hartley told WMTW that her husband caught the cotton candy lobster off Cape Rosier in Penobscot Bay—and it’s not his first time. Four years ago, he caught another one, which he donated to an aquarium in Connecticut. While the Hartleys decide what to do with their pretty new foster pet, it’s relaxing in a crate on land.

Though the chances of finding a cotton candy lobster are supposedly one in 100 million, Maine seems to be crawling with the polychromatic crustaceans. Lucky the lobster gained quite a cult following on social media after being caught near Canada’s Grand Manan Island (close to the Canada-Maine border) last summer, and Portland restaurant Scales came across one during the same season. You can see a video of the discovery in Maine from last August below:

According to National Geographic, these lobsters’ cotton candy-colored shells could be the result of a genetic mutation, or they could be related to what they’re eating. Lobsters get their usual greenish-blue hue when crustacyanin—a protein they produce—combines with astaxanthin, a bright red carotenoid found in their diet. But if the lobsters aren’t eating their usual astaxanthin-rich fare like crabs and shrimp, the lack of pigment could give them a pastel appearance. It’s possible that the cotton candy lobsters have been relying on fishermen’s bait as their main food source, rather than finding their own.

While these vibrant specimens may look more beautiful than their dull-shelled relatives, even regular lobsters are cooler than you think—find out 25 fascinating facts about them here.

[h/t WMTW]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER