New study shows how dog ownership extends life

Dr. Jennifer Ashton -- joined by her dog, Mason -- discusses the recent study that shows a possible connections between pets and cardiovascular health.
2:04 | 10/08/19

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Transcript for New study shows how dog ownership extends life
Okay, Michael, now a "Gma" health alert. New research out this morning saying dogs could help you live longer. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here to break this down with a little four-legged assistant here. Mason. Mason the morkie, this is my doggie. He's been speaking a little just a little bit. This is interesting. Big numbers done out of 1w50eden and actually tracked the rate of death after a severe stroke or heart attack compared dog owners with nondog owners and found a 33% lower risk of death after a major cardiovascular event of dog owners compared to those who lived alone. Now interestingly they also looked at brides and found certain breeds were more protective than others, terriers like my morkie. Sptz, hounds and retrievers even more interesting. Like you have your little one right there, a lot of people, a lot of people are tweeting photos of themselves with their little four-legged fur babies. I know. Tell us what is the real theory behind it. Again, this study was based on association obviously not cause and effect but the theories are people who own dogs are more physically active and more socially connected. Interesting for future research. Yes, mason. You know, he's a little bit of a diva. He wants more time. They didn't study cat owners or other pets but, again, I think this is some interesting initiative and work being done by the American heart association. Really encouraging people to be active and having a dog is one way to do that. That it is so what if you are not able to have a dog. What are ways? This opens up the option of pet therapy after a cardiovascular event or preventively. Being physically active and socially connected are the hallmarks in anyone who owns a pet of any kind, I guess even reptiles, know that those things at least the social connectiveness is definitely there. I know. It looks like you're rocking little mason. He did very well. Thank you, mason. Good job. Good job, macening.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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