Dog owners have a healthier heart than other people because they are often out and about.

“People who keep a dog have a better diet and are less likely to have diabetes,” says a study conducted at St. Anne’s University Hospital.

The study involved 2,000 adults, assessing their cardiovascular health based on body mass index, level of physical activity, smoking status, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. They also commented on their financial status, disease history and whether they were smokers.

Their scores ranged from zero to 14 from dog owners to those without a pet.

“People who keep a dog are physically active, better fed and have normal blood pressure, as well as sugar and cholesterol,” said Dr. Andrea Mogheri.

The survey showed that 61.8 percent of dog owners were within the range of average and desirable values, and only 47.7 percent of those who did not have a dog. As many as 16.4 percent of non-dog owners had malnutrition, while 9.4 percent of dog owners. But research has also shown that dog owners are more likely to smoke.