To the surprise of zero dog owners, results from the 2018 General Social Survey show dog owners are happier than cat owners.
The survey shows when asked if they were very happy, dog owners say yes at twice the rate of cat owners (36 percent to 18 percent). People without pets clock in at 32 percent, while people with both cats and dogs sit at 28 percent.
While the world has long debated the question of which one is a better life companion: a dog or a cat? The survey didn’t include questions about the benefit of including pets until 2018.
Scientists have long proven that dogs improve human life. And if you already have a dog, you know how much happiness and joy your pet brings you and everyone around him.
If you don’t already have a dog, now’s the time to get one.
Here are ten reasons why you need a dog — and more happiness — in your life.
Dogs provide health benefits
Mood boosters: No matter how gloomy your mood is, it’s nearly impossible to stay grumpy when a happy dog greets you with a wagging tail. It’s impossible to frown when you’re getting puppy kisses.
Love bugs: Interacting with your dog releases oxytocin, the feel-good, stress-reducing chemical. Petting your dog reduces your blood pressure. Those health benefits are among the many reasons dog owners are happier than cat owners.
Step aside cats! Children who grow up with dogs are less susceptible to allergies and asthma. People are twice as likely to suffer from cat allergies than dog allergies, and according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, one in seven children is allergic to cats.
Get moving: Dog people tend to be healthier because they are more active. Having a four-legged friend forces the owner to get out and take their dogs for regular walks or to play spirited games of fetch in the backyard.
A healing vibe: Service animals and trained therapy dogs routinely offer comfort to hospital patients. But research now shows the health benefits are more significant when the dog belongs to the patient. A survey of 750 nurses found that more than 60 percent said hospital visits by dogs helped speed up their patients’ physical recovery. With their superior sense of smell, dogs can provide early detection of diseases including cancer, diabetes and more.
Service pets: Service dogs receive specific training to help people with disabilities. Therapy dogs are able to connect with people who have particular needs such as autistic children. Emotional support dogs provide daily structure for their human companions. They also improve emotional stability and reduce stress.
Dogs provide social benefits
Benefits for kids: In addition to health benefits, having a dog helps make children more confident. Studies have shown that contributing take care of the dog with age-appropriate tasks helps boost a child’s self-esteem. Just be sure to prepare your kids for the responsibility of helping care for the family dog.
Unquestioning faithfulness: Everyone remembers fantastic stories about dogs that travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to find their way home. Dogs are primarily able to do that thanks to their superior sense of smell.
Reward that loyalty by keeping your dog safe. Make sure your dog is registered, has a microchip and that you keep your contact information up-to-date. That way, rather than rely on your dog’s nose, if your pup gets lost, technology will help bring him safely home.
Home protection: Even the smallest dog help guard their home and family. Their ears are so keen; the dog knows long before you do that the UPS truck has turned on your street. Whether they fear the bark or the bite, dogs serve as excellent deterrents to burglars.
Happier workplaces: Bringing your dog to work helps boost productivity and creativity. It also helps keep your co-workers happier and healthier.
Bottom line: Dog owners are happier than cat owners
Sure they shed and slobber. And you have to pick up their poop when you go for walks. But really, isn’t that better than having to clean out a cat’s litter box?
Dogs give us unconditional love and joy. They make us healthier, more social, and more productive. In the end, it’s easy to see why dog owners are happier than cat owners.
Sarah Milton is a freelance writer who seeks to provide comprehensive information about children and pets. Her work focuses on helping people to become better with pets. Together with dog-training expert Max Polyakov, she helps shelter animals.