Our research confirms what many dog owners already know: dogs are great companions that can help you to feel less lonely.
Cuddles and slobbery kisses, meeting other dog owners in the park, and a general lift in mood all likely help.
And although most dog owners will assure you, in no uncertain terms, their dog is a source of sheer happiness, scientific evidence is lacking.
Most previous studies have compared the mental well-being of dog owners to non-owners at a single point in time.
They also cannot tell us if dog owners are simply in a more positive state of mind in the first place.
In our study, dog owners also said they had met new people in their neighborhood because of their dog.
Of these studies, one found dog owners had fewer symptoms of psychiatric disorders after they acquired a dog. »