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New study says pet owners are happier

Woman holding dog

I think most pet owners would agree that it’s pretty obvious how happy our pets make us, but now a new study by Onepoll.com has given us proof. The author of the study is psychologist Corinne Sweet who polled 2,000 people over the age of 55, half of which owned a cat or dog and half of which had no pets at all. The study found that the pet owners were more likely to have found their perfect job, have a child, be married, have a university degree and were twice as likely to consider themselves a success.

It’s no secret that dog owners are generally more active than those without pets due to all the additional walking they do and this study only proved that fact further. It found that people without pets raised their heart rate around three times a week compared to pet owners who heart rates were raised five times a week. In fact, 45% of pet owners said their pet was the main reason they exercised.

Sweet told the Independent,

“The many benefits of pet ownership also include the cardio-vascular exercise of dog-walking, and even the light housework associated with feeding and clearing up after our beloved animals.”

Dog being held and kissed by woman

Health professionals have known of the positive effects of animal ownership for years and there are several studies to prove this. It’s one of the reasons that therapy dogs are so effective. Pet owners are also thought to have lower blood pressure, lower levels of cholesterol and even feel less stressed as pets can boost self-esteem, reduce anxiety and depression and help children with ADHD and autism.

Talking to the Independent, study author Sweet said,

“Having a close bond with a domestic animal can boost ‘feel good’ biochemicals such as endorphins and oxytocin; which can make owners feel more relaxed, calmer and happier at home. The act of stroking a pet can lower high-blood pressure, and being greeted or comforted by a pet can increase general emotional wellbeing.”

So there you have it, congratulations to all you lovely pet owners out there living happier, healthier lives!