Are Dog Owners Happier Than Cat Owners? New Research Makes No Bones about It

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Pets can be a great addition to your family and studies have even shown that pets can keep you healthy—but if you really want to be happy you might want to bring home a dog instead of a cat. New research shows that dog owners are happier than cat owners.

Last year for the first time notable survey the General Social Survey quizzed households on pet ownership. The survey found that six our of 10 American households have at least one pet. Using the data collected the researchers were able to look at how pet ownership aligned with other social factors, in particular, happiness.

photo: StockSnap via Pixabay

The survey found that when it comes to happiness there is no major difference between pet owners and non-pet owners, however there was a divide among pet owners based on what type of pet they have at home. Dog owners are nearly twice as likely as cat owners to say they’re “very happy,” with people owning both cats and dogs falling somewhere in between.

It’s important to note however, that the study didn’t show a direct correlation between happiness and pet ownership, only that the two factors overlapped. There are several other points to take into consideration. For example, the General Social Survey data shows that dog owners are more likely to be married and own their own homes than cat owners, both factors known to impact happiness.

Dog owners also said they are more likely to seek comfort from their pets when they feel stressed, they more likely to play with their pet and more likely to consider their pet a member of their family.

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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