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Study: Here's how to help your dog live longer

Study: Here's how to help your dog live longer (WKRC via ChimeIn)
Study: Here's how to help your dog live longer (WKRC via ChimeIn)
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WKRC) - Research shows there is a relatively simple way dog lovers can help their furry family members live longer, happier lives.

Award-winning animal advocate Carol Erickson, a board member with the Pennsylvania SPCA, offered some advice during an appearance on KYW.

Erickson says keeping dogs socially connected, not just to people, but to other dogs and companion animals, like cats, can increase their lifespan.

Researchers examined data from over 21,000 dogs from the Dog Aging Project, and discovered a direct correlation between the company of other animals and enriched emotional security and satisfaction -- contributing to a longer life.

In fact, keeping dogs socially active was found to be five times more effective at extending their lives than owners having a high income, which would allow them to make more frequent visits to the vet than lower income households.

The results did depend on the ages of the dogs. A stronger association was evident between the owner's age and their dog's health in younger years, as compared to older dogs.

Experts say you don't necessarily need to adopt another dog or companion animal, though it can be beneficial.

The study shows even setting up playdates and giving your dog the opportunity to interact with their own kind can have a positive health impact.

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