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Your genes decide whether you will own a dog or not

IANS  |  London 

The choice of getting a at home is heavily influenced by an individual's genetic make-up, says a study, suggesting that explains more than half of the variation in ownership.

For the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists looked into the heritability of ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry.

"We were surprised to see that a person's genetic make-up appears to be a significant influence in whether they own a dog," said Tove Fall, at in Sweden.

"As such, these findings have major implications in several different fields related to understanding dog-human interaction throughout history and in modern times," Fall said.

Although dogs and other pets are common household members across the globe, little is known how they impact our daily life and health.

"Perhaps some people have a higher innate propensity to care for a pet than others, Fall added.

The researchers found concordance rates of dog ownership to be much larger in identical twins than in non-identical ones -- supporting the view that genetics indeed plays a major role in the choice of owning a dog.

"These findings are important as they suggest that supposed health benefits of owning a dog reported in some studies may be partly explained by different genetics of the people studied," said Carri Westgarth, at the in Britain.

The next obvious step is to try to identify which genetic variants affect this choice and how they relate to personality traits and other factors such as allergy, the researchers noted.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 17:38 IST