http://www.pet360.com/dog/lifestyle...ur-life/aCxsmvkVl0GdtplsxTBdVQ?intcid=LINKART The health benefits of pet ownership have been well documented. Dogs and cats can help relieve stress and anxiety, keep you fit, and provide emotional support. But it also looks like owning a dog can help slow down the aging process and keep you physically fit into your golden years. According to the Free Press Journal, a new study from researchers at the University of St Andrews in Scotland shows that dog owners over the age of 65 acted and felt 10 years younger than their non-dog-owning counterparts. Dr Zhiqiang Feng monitored 547 elderly people with an average age of 79 living in Tayside, Scotland. Within the group, 9 percent—approximately 50 people—were dog owners. Participants were asked to wear an accelerometer for seven days to track and monitor their movements and levels of activity. Results showed that dog owners recorded activity levels of people 10 years younger than them, and the pet parents were 12 percent more active than those participants that did not own dogs. The dog owners in the study got more exercise by walking with their dogs and playing with their pets. The length of walking did not make any difference on the positive effects. The participants with dogs also showed much lower levels of anxiety and depression. “Our results suggest that dog ownership may motivate personal activity and enable older people to overcome many potential barriers such as lack of social support, inclement weather and concerns over personal safety,” Feng told reporters. And while sharing your life with a canine companion may not exactly be the key to the Fountain of Youth, the significant health benefits shown in this study are just additional reasons why life with dogs is the best.