By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Owning a dog could add years to your life, according to a new study by the University of Toronto. Researchers studied data on 4 million people from six countries and found that dog owners had a 24% lower risk of dying early.

For those who already had a heart attack, owning a dog lowered the risk of dying by 31%.

A major factor could be that pet owners do more walking.

Studies also show petting dogs reduces blood pressure, anxiety and depression.