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And while having a pooch can sometimes be exhausting, a researcher at St. Andrews University in Scotland says it can help people feel younger, especially if they’re 65 or older.
Dr. Zhiqiang Feng isn’t ready to say that owning a dog is an automatic fountain of youth. However, he does contend that all the physical activity that goes into caring for a furry friend helps elderly folks act as if they’re ten years younger.
Feng conducted an experiment with about 550 people aged 65, tracking their movements with an accelerometer for a week. Although only nine percent owned dogs, Feng discovered that they were 12 percent more active than the rest of the group.
In addition to the cardiovascular and other advantages of all that activity, Feng also speculates that dog owners benefit in social development as well, another factor that seems to slow the aging process.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio