According to numerous studies, owning a dog is better for your mental health, career, happiness and will make you live longer.
One of the more accepted pieces of confirmation bias going around is that people love dogs more than they do other people. The dogs are people, and people are animals. It’s a casual fact.
However, science has decided to better arm you for the next time you have to explain the obvious, as it turns out we feel more empathy for dogs than we do other people.
The study (published in Society & Animals) shepherded 256 people into a room and forced them to digest fake news stories. In each story, the victim had been beaten by someone mysterious with a baseball bat, garnering them a broken leg and numerous lacerations. The four victims were a toddler, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy and an adult pooch.
You see where I’m going with this, right?
The order of registered empathy was rated thusly: The puppy, the toddler, the adult dog and the adult person.
Well, duh. As the study said, “Subjects did not view their dogs as animals, but rather as ‘fur babies’, or family members alongside human children.”
Again, duh. However, something new to this particularly manicured pooch is a study from Sweden that surmised that dog ownership decreased general death by 33%. Shockingly, 3.4 million Swedes were polled, which makes the ordinary Scandinavian hound a far better option than eating well and not smoking.
Other studies note that dogs tend to improve your mental health, lowers your rate of heart disease, and increases your overall level of joy. Have a job? Take a dog with you, office dogs increase productivity and engagement. Ostensibly, they’re the greatest source of oxycontin, the so-called “love hormone”.
Basically, just get a dog. Your life depends on it.