In the study by Uppsala University on more than 3.4 million elderly people who lived alone, those who lived with dogs were 33 per cent less likely to die.
Looking for the secret to a longer life and a healthy heart? According to the findings, Swedes who owned a four-legged friend were found to have a lower risk of death and decreased chance of cardiovascular disease.
People living alone have the highest risk of developing a heart disease or having a stroke.
The world's population can be divided into three groups: people who have a dog, people who want to get a dog and bad people.
"Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households", Mubanga said. At the beginning of the study, none of them had been diagnosed with heart disease.
Prof Fall believed single dog owners' increased social interaction with others may be another heart-friendly benefit.
'Dogs may be beneficial in reducing cardiovascular risk by providing a non-human form of social support and increasing physical activity. "We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation [for] the observed results".
However, the authors recognise the limitations of the study, as the data doesn't show the differences between owners and non-owners before getting a dog, which could have influenced results. Since dog ownership requires registration in Sweden and since all health care, including all doctor's visits, are charted in a national database, as Time noted, the researchers could follow the lives of people with and without dogs.