9 Science-Backed Reasons to Own a Dog

Researchers asked people who owned dogs, cats, both, or neither to record how often they laughed over the course of a day. Those who owned just dogs and both dogs and cats recorded laughing more than the other two groups.

1. Dogs Make Us Laugh

The origin of today’s domesticated house-dog reaches back to between 18,800 and 32,100 years ago, when they evolved from wolves. Wolves are known for living in packs and developing strong bonds between pack members. It’s this pack behaviour that’s what makes today’s dogs so loyal.

2. Dogs Are Loyal

In the UK, a team of scientist at the University of Liverpool and the University of Bristol found that UK residents with dogs were more likely to encounter other dogs and dog-owners than people who did not own a dog.

3. We’re More Social With A Dog

Dogs might even protect us from poor health. Children born into households with a dog have a lower risk of developing asthma and allergies. The reason being dust.

4. Dogs Keep Us Healthy

Obesity is a major concern today, so it’s important to get regular exercise. Researchers at Michigan State University reported in 2011 that 60 percent of dog owners who took their pet for regular walks met federal criteria for regular moderate or vigorous exercise.

5. We’re More Active With Dogs

Dogs are not a cat's best friend, but earlier this year, one lucky cat in Florida was saved by a blood transfusion from, you guessed it, a dog. Some dogs have a universal blood donor type, just like some humans, and when no cat blood was around for 'Buttercup'

6. Dogs Save Lives

Dogs are great companions for anyone, but especially for the elderly. In a study published in the Journal of Social Psychology, elderly who owned a dog reported feeling more satisfied with their social, physical and emotional state than those without a dog.

7. Dogs Give Us A Sense Of Purpose

In another study, participants obtained a dog and were assessed after ten months with their new canine companion. In general, the participants reported a higher sense of self-esteem, improved exercise habits, and less fear of crime.

8. Dogs Give Us Confidence

Just the simple act of making eye contact with your furry friend can release the feel-good chemical called oxytocin. In a study that measured oxytocin levels from two groups of dog owners, the group that were instructed not to look directly at their dog had lower oxytocin levels than the other group that made regular eye contact.

9. Dogs Make Us Genuinely Happy