Researchers at Uppsala University conducted a huge study revealing that dog owners have a lower risk of dying compared to non-pet owners. The study, published on Nov. 17 in the journal Scientific Reports, followed 3.4 million Swedes, some of whom owned dogs and some of whom didnít, and all of whom in 2001 had no pre-existing heart conditions. After 12 years, the data shows that people with dogs had a 23 percent reduced risk of death from cardiac diseases like heart failure, stroke or heart attack than their dog-less peers. Though all breeds donít ďprotectĒ their owners equally (e.g. owners of hunting-breed dogs had the lowest risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and death), the Swedish study supports the American Heart Associationís 2013 report that dog owners get more exercise, have better blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lower stress levels.