studies do not prove that dog ownership has a direct effect on health
October 9, 2019 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Owning a dog 'may increase length of life' [NHS Behind The Headlines] Two studies, a "review of previous studies" and "a new study from Sweden [...] were reported with enthusiasm by the UK media, with The Times enjoying a pun about patients being prescribed "woof-arin" instead of warfarin."
posted by readinghippo (26 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
“A million dogs isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?”
posted by adrianhon at 3:47 PM on October 9 [4 favorites]


However, we cannot rule out that chronic disease, propensity to physical activity, and a social personality influence the choice of getting a dog and thus may potentially confound these associations.

Not to mention considerable discretionary free time to spend on pet care, extended family who live nearby (if you expect to have to travel a lot to visit family, you're probably less likely to get a dog) and probably property ownership (unless landlords in Sweden are required to allow pets).

Anyone in a position to get a dog is pretty much winning at life to begin with.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 3:55 PM on October 9 [15 favorites]


Any excuse to repost my favorite twitter joke of all time:
Humans: Okay, so
Dog Negotiator: Yes
Humans: Uh
Dog Negotiator: Absolutely. We'll do it
Humans: I haven't even
Dog Negotiator: I love you
posted by gwint at 4:16 PM on October 9 [44 favorites]


Don't care what people say - dogs are good boys and girls and great for your health!
posted by drewbage1847 at 4:23 PM on October 9 [6 favorites]


Dogs are the Tool of the pet world: they're very fun but definitely not for everyone, they're simultaneously extremely talented and embarrassingly stupid, and their most ardent, uncritical supporters tend to be total shitheads.
posted by saladin at 4:32 PM on October 9 [16 favorites]




2 of my favorite people are Tool fans. Also we,re all team cat

But yay dogs!!!.🐕
posted by supermedusa at 4:40 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]


studies are wrong, hugging dogs cured my marthambles
posted by poffin boffin at 6:03 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


The article that I read said that the effect was most pronounced for those who live alone, which says to me that maybe it is not being lonely that has the actual impact. It helps, of course, that dogs are generally very social.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:10 PM on October 9 [12 favorites]


I KNEW it.
posted by jjray at 6:16 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]


I'm concerned that cats have apparently learned to write fake news.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:19 PM on October 9 [17 favorites]


patients being prescribed "woof-arin" instead of warfarin

Ha ha ha funny. Although a dog is not going to prevent deadly blood clots you know
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:08 PM on October 9 [4 favorites]


I wonder how much of this is that having a dog makes you have to walk more often
posted by aubilenon at 9:06 PM on October 9 [10 favorites]


I got my dog so I had to walk daily. She is the laziest dog and will lie down midway through her short walk to go home.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:33 PM on October 9 [11 favorites]


their most ardent, uncritical supporters tend to be total shitheads.

Um, ok? Thats the kind of lame joke I'd expect from a cat person, I guess

The average american walks what, 200' a day? Dog owners walk miles. In all weather. Its gotta be largely down to the fresh air and exercise.
posted by fshgrl at 9:49 PM on October 9 [6 favorites]


Therapeutic powers of holding warm poops?
posted by anthill at 10:20 PM on October 9 [11 favorites]


• To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs. — Aldous Huxley
• If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. — not by Harry Truman
Trump, the first President in a century with no dog, explains why: 'I don't have any time.' (WaPo)
posted by cenoxo at 12:37 AM on October 10 [6 favorites]


the absolute dumbest thing about the cats vs dogs divide is that some people actually seem to think?? somehow?? that you can only choose one? what???? how fucking stupid is that? this makes as much sense as saying oh i like pie so now i have to tell people who like cake that they're all shitheads. NO YOU DUMB FUCKS YOU EAT THEM BOTH BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH GOOD SHUT UP

this got away from me a bit, don't eat cats and/or dogs, severally or together

tl;dr anyone who thinks you can't like both deserves the love of neither
posted by poffin boffin at 3:16 AM on October 10 [25 favorites]


I wonder how much of this is that having a dog makes you have to walk more often
posted by aubilenon


A dog will also hold you to a schedule faithfully, which helps your sleep and diet
posted by eustatic at 3:51 AM on October 10 [7 favorites]


Yeah I still get behind "having the money, energy, and time to own a dog is probably the biggest factor." I would absolutely get a dog if I weren't so poor and chronically ill.

But I'm sure there's still a "dogs are cute and friendly" factor, even if small.
posted by brook horse at 5:52 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Not to mention considerable discretionary free time to spend on pet care, extended family who live nearby (if you expect to have to travel a lot to visit family, you're probably less likely to get a dog) and probably property ownership (unless landlords in Sweden are required to allow pets).

They actually are! Barring special circumstances, like an allergy-friendly house, landlords can't ban pets.
posted by Vesihiisi at 6:21 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


My dog needs to be walked and have the ball thrown, so there's exercise. He is friendly and a good listener, probably a better friend than some of the 2-legged ones. He's usually happy, always happy to see me. It was cold last night, he snuggled up for warmth. Yes, I have to have the discretionary income for food and some vet costs. Halloween season is difficult, as he is willing to tolerate costumes, and the temptation is fierce. I'd way rather invest in my dog than useless supplements; he's quite good value.
posted by theora55 at 7:09 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


having a warm cat purring on my lap or in my arms is the most soothing thing I know. puppies don't purr but also have this magic ability. of course it makes you healthier!!
posted by supermedusa at 8:25 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


this got away from me a bit, don't eat cats and/or dogs

Eh, let people eat what they want to eat. Dog isn't half bad, and it was pretty common in a lot of markets in parts of South East Asia when I travelled there.

Nowt wrong with keeping either as pets instead of course. I have a cat softly purring on the backrest of my seat behind my head right now, but I'm not going to tell anyone not to eat them. Just don't eat anyone's pet (well, unless they consent - my uncle's family cooked and ate their pet rabbit when it died).
posted by Dysk at 8:44 AM on October 10 [3 favorites]


Studies! You can prove anything with studies.
posted by thelonius at 9:28 AM on October 10 [1 favorite]


That’s definitely relevant about the Swedish rental laws, thanks.

I will also admit that my first reflexive reaction when I heard about the study—that the effect is limited to men who become dog owners because they have wives who will take care of both the dogs and them—turned out to be completely wrong since the effect was so strong for people living alone.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 9:40 AM on October 10


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