The link between pets and the reduced risk of heart disease is good news for dog-loving Millionaires worried about their health. Learn more.
Dog-loving Millionaires may find relief from their health worries from new American Heart Association research that link pets to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease,” Glenn N. Levine, and physician and professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, said in a statement released last week by the American Heart Association.
More than two-in-five Millionaires own at least one pet, according to a survey conducted in November by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. The large majority (58 percent) of Millionaire pet owners have dogs as opposed to cats or any other animal, including gerbils, fish and birds.
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The American Heart Association finds that people who own dogs take more walks and are more likely to engage in other physical activities than non-dog owners. Those with dogs were 54 percent more likely than those without to get recommended levels of physical activity.
Owning pets is also linked with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lower rates of obesity, the association reports. “Pets can have a positive effect on the body’s reaction to stress.”
Millionaires seem to appreciate the benefits of pet ownership. Sixty percent spend at least $500 on their pets each year, including roughly one-third who spend at least $1,000. For most, the budget includes treats and toys, food and regular veterinary care.
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“What’s less clear is whether the act of adopting or acquiring a pet could lead to a reduction in cardiovascular risk in those with pre-existing disease,” Levine said, explaining that Millionaires and others worried about their health shouldn’t run out and get a pet simply to reduce the risks of heart attacks, strokes or related illnesses.