A very big study in the US has concluded what we already know: dogs make us happy. Happier even than cat owners. It’s just one of the advantages of dogs.
The General Social Survey (GSS) operates out of the University of Chicago and has been gathering data since 1972, tracking everything from participants’ marijuana habits to their relationship status. It’s a large and well-respected organization.
Completed late om 2011, their latest survey is the first time GSS has included questions about animal ownership.
It turns out that there are some surprising differences between dog and cat owners. First, though, there’s very little difference in happiness levels between pet owners and non-pet owners.
With or without pets, the adults in this survey reported similar levels of happiness or “life satisfaction.”
Percent of families with pets
Dog owners are happier
In the pet owners group, dog owners report being “very happy” twice as often as cat owners.
In other words,
- dog people are happier than those with no pets
- among pet people, dog owners are much happier than cat owners
- dog owners are more likely to seek comfort from their pet in times of stress
- dog owners are more likely to play with their pet
- more dog owners consider their pet to be a member of the family, compared to cat owners
It not just the dog
ADVANTAGES OF DOGS
The dog alone can’t be the only reason for the difference in reported happiness, caution researchers.
Dog owners exercise much more, and they are more likely to form friendships with people in their neighbourhood, another benefit of walking the dog.
Dog owners are more likely to be married and own homes, both of which are factors known to contribute toward life satisfaction.
Other surveys have indicated that owning a pet can lead to improved cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and less depression.
Cat owners take heart
Then argument over which is better, cat or dog, has raged for centuries. Cat owners point to the many benefits of their choices including:
√ Cats don’t take up much space.
√ Owning a cat is more affordable.
√ Cats are perfectly happy staying indoors.
√ Cats are quieter.
Kittens are way less work than puppies.
Cats can keep pests like mice at bay.
Most Morkies would rather DRESS UP LIKE A MOUSE than kill one.
Cleaning the litter box is easier than walkies.
Cats GET personal space.
What do you think?
Dogs or cats? Add your comments.