Well you can add this to the growing list of reasons to get a dog, new research suggests man's best friend is helping owners live longer.

The study, published Friday in Scientific Reports, found a link between owning a dog and lowering a person's risk of cardiovascular disease and death.


Researchers noted that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 45 percent of all deaths in Europe in 2016.

The study specifically looked at nationwide data involving 3.4 million Swedish adults over a 12-year period.

The findings were that dogs help their owners live longer by providing them with social support and a more active lifestyle, plus owners wind up spending more time doing outdoor activities. In particular, they found having a dog "improved perception of wellbeing" and lessened social isolation for single people and the elderly.

As for which dog is best, well everyone has their personal favorites. But in this case, the research showed having a hunting breed dog was associated with the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease death.

FULL STUDY: Dog ownership and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death