Dogs give us immeasurable joy in our lives. Now it seems they can literally make us live longer according to a study released this week.

As USA Today shares, the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes published a study on Tuesday claiming dog owners live longer than their pet-less counterparts.

This study analyzed previous studies from 1950 to May of this year that covered dog ownership and how it relates to mortality. Researchers extracted data from ten studies that involved over 3 million participants.

The results highly favored dog parents when it comes to extending human lifespans. The new report concludes that dog owners’ risk reduction for death from any cause decreased by 24% compared to non-dog owners. Dogs also help people with heart problems since they’re more likely to walk their dogs and be more physically active.

“Having a family pet may assist a person with managing stress, increasing activity and decreasing isolation and loneliness,” says Mike Ferdinand, professor at Tulane University School of Medicine. Ferdinand was not involved with this new study.

Are you looking for a dog to be part of your life? See all of the puppies and dogs for adoption at MHS on our Adopt a Pet section. Don’t forget that all dog adoption fees are reduced to $25 on October 12 during Empty the Shelters.

Photo credit: Devan Bianco, Michigan Humane Society