New research shows that owning a dog could save your life

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A study released shows that a dog really is your best friend.

RELATED: ‘No-kill’ animal shelter admits to euthanizing at least 7 healthy dogs

According to the journal Scientific Reports, owning a canine reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

The research followed over 3 million people over 12 years and found that adults who lived alone — but with a dog –had a 33 percent less risk of dying. Also, those who lived alone but with a canine had a 36 percent less likely of developing cardiovascular disease.

And how do dogs go about keeping one heart-healthy?

“We know that dog owners, in general, have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results,” Tove Fall, a senior author of the study and a professor at Uppsala University, told ABC News. “Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner.”

RELATED: Guy abandons dog for 30 minutes and flips out when owners confront him

All of which is yet another reason to visit your neighborhood animal shelter.

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