There really isn’t any question. Dogs make life better:
In 2018, the General Social Survey for the first time included a battery of questions on pet ownership. The findings not only quantified the nation’s pet population – nearly 6 in 10 households have at least one -they made it possible to see how pet ownership overlaps with all sorts of factors of interest to social scientists.
For starters, there is little difference between pet owners and non-owners when it comes to happiness, the survey shows. The two groups are statistically indistinguishable on the likelihood of identifying as “very happy” (a little over 30 percent) or “not too happy” (in the mid-teens).
But when you break the data down by pet type – cats, dogs or both – a stunning divide emerges: Dog owners are about twice as likely as cat owners to say they’re very happy, with people owning both falling somewhere in between.
We have four in the house now, although one is a friend’s dog who is staying here while she’s travelling. It can get a little chaotic at times, especially when the someone comes to the door, but if there is one thing you can do to instantly improve your quality of life, getting a dog is it.
On a dog-related note, it was amusing last night. My friend’s Ridgeback suddenly started crying and whining for what he thought was no reason while we were talking on the phone. It turned out that his wife had managed to lock herself outside without her keys, and the dog realized she was out there and something was wrong before she could even manage to dig her phone out of her purse and call my friend.