NOT only is a dog man’s best friend but new figures now show that your pet can also be a life-saver.

Research reveals that owning a dog slashes the risk of suffering a premature death. The biggest impact here is in heart disease with dog owners reducing early death rates by 36 per cent.

Dogs also help lower loneliness — which has been linked to disorders like heart disease and dementia — offer companionship and encourage owners to exercise via walks.

Separate research also shows that allowing dogs to sleep in your bedroom also helps people get a better night’s sleep.