Why Dogs Are The Best Pets? 18 Statistics & Facts

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Updated: 2022.09.02

By Mila Bander.

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Here I’ll share and discuss statistics, facts and science on why dogs are the best pets.

Learn exactly why dogs are the best pets and all the benefits that come with having a dog.

Now you’re going to have all the data to back up your wish to have a dog.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Dogs Help Alleviate Stress and Anxiety

Nowadays, most people deal with stress and anxiety, or some other mental health issue. Dogs can help alleviate symptoms and even help humans heal root causes of these mental issues.

Various studies show that therapy dogs help alleviate stress and anxiety. And you don’t even have to own a dog to benefit from this.

Just petting a dog for ten minutes can significantly improve mental health.

In one study, participants who petted a dog for only ten minutes experienced great reduction in cortisol.

Now imagine what having a dog around the house could do for your mental health.

Remember: if a dog chews your shoes and that stresses you out, immediately petting them for ten minutes while looking at their cute face will solve the problem.

This is backed up by science!

Dog Owners Live Longer & Stronger

A review of studies made between 1950 and 2019 found that people who own dogs have a lower risk of death. They also have lower blood pressure levels and improved response to stress.

A health journal of the American Heart Association shared that having a dog can reduce risk of death by heart attack in 33 percent and reduce chances of death for stroke survivors in 27 percent.

Stress when left unchecked can contribute to a lot of health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hormone imbalance, heart disease, and more.

Walking your dog for at least 30 minutes per day for five days a week can reduce risk of coronary disease by at least 19 percent. But more on these fitness benefits later.

Living with a dog can greatly increase feelings of calm, happiness, spontaneity, gratitude, amusement, joy and love, among so many others.

Dogs Are Loyal Friends

After a while, the bond between owner and dog becomes so strong, they start to see you as part of the pack, or even pack leader.

When this happens, the dog will become more loyal and attentive to you, striving to protect you from anything they might consider a threat.

Dogs will guard their owners while they eat, bring them their favorite toys as gifts, and studies showed that dogs will actively try to help their owner when they think they are in danger.

The study showed that when owners cried behind a closed door, most dogs would immediately feel emotionally distressed and open the door to go to their owners and try to help or save them.

Dogs can also cuddle with their favorite humans the same way they used to do with their moms and siblings.

The hormone oxytocin is released in both the dog and the human during these sweet moments.

Dogs Will Make You Laugh (a lot)

Having a dog will make you healthier and happier, alright.

But I didn’t even mention one of the healthiest and happiest things your dog can help you with: laughing!

Dogs are naturally spontaneous and funny, and you never know what antics they’re going to do next.

It can range from a funny sound all the way to… well, something completely unexpected!

Dogs Help You Be More Social & Socially Appealing

We really don’t need a study for this one, but a study “found” that having a dog reduces loneliness.

Obvious one, right?

But what’s not so obvious is that dogs also make you more socially appealing.

A few studies found that someone who is walking their dog, or is with a dog in their profile picture is more likely to make new friends and even meet a potential romantic partner.

Dogs are great company for SOOO! many reasons.

They actually make you happier, so you look happier and friendlier and therefore more appealing to others.


Dogs Can Help You Be More Fit

A good dog owner walks their dog frequently. These multiple walks along sidewalks, trails and paths will make you healthier not only physically but also mentally.

A 2019 study found that dog owners are roughly four times more likely to meet daily physical activity guidelines than non-dog owners.

Dogs will remind you that there’s a world outside to explore and appreciate.

Walking Your Dog Can Be a Good Workout

Walking your dog brings a bunch of benefits.

As already mentioned, it reduces heart disease risk – and the longer the duration or distance you walk, the more benefits.

Walking Your Dog Lowers Blood Sugar

A small study found that walking three times per day for only 15 minutes after each meal improved blood sugar levels more than walking just once for 45 minutes.

The more you walk your dog, the more benefits!

Walking With Your Dog Eases Joint Pain And Tones Your Legs

Ease joint pain. Walking regularly helps protect joints, lubricate and strengthen muscles, prevent arthritis and reduce pain.

Walking your dog in a hilly area, or any area where you go a bit upwards, can tone your legs and strengthen your leg muscles.

This article even teaches how to turn a regular dog walk into an opportunity to exercise your body more.

Walking Your Dog Boosts Immune Function and Energy Levels

People who walk regularly in a moderate pace (if you’re walking a dog, it will definitely be moderate or fast pace) have 43 percent fewer sick days and less upper respiratory tract infections.

If they did get sick, symptoms were milder compared to sedentary adults.

Going for a walk will increase oxygen flow through your body, and it will also increase other energy boosting hormones levels.

Instead of drinking another cup of coffee, just go for a 30-minute walk with your dog; this is scientific, by the way.

Playing Outside with Your Dog Will Make You More Creative

A study found that people are more creative and have more ideas while walking outdoors than while sitting.

As your dogs gets you out of the house more, you will definitely become more creative and have more million dollar ideas.

Dogs Help Seniors Improve Cognitive Function

Studies (1, 2, 3 and more) showed that dogs have a really positive effect on seniors.

They improve the cognitive function of residents with mental illnesses in long-term care.

Dogs also help decrease agitated behavior in seniors suffering with dementia. Seniors also have their social interactions improved after socializing with dogs.

And of course, it’s common knowledge that dogs are some of our best friends! 

Dogs can provide unconditional love, support and affection, no matter what.

Most people believe they are taking care of dogs, but it’s mutual: dogs also take care of us, and this is science!

Dogs Help Humans Cope Better with Crisis

A study from Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine found that military veterans suffering with PTSD do better not only physiologically but also psychologically when they have a service dog by their side.

Veterans with a dog companion had less symptoms of PTSD and showed better coping skills.

All dog owners can feel the emotional benefit of having a loyal friend by their side even during the hardest of times.

It’s both surprising and amazing that dogs can help humans in general feel so much more grounded, loved, and well, – human.

It’s important to remember that dogs can also develop PTSD – it’s imperative that owners protect and care for their dogs physically and emotionally.

Dogs Help You Live Life to The Fullest

A study from Virginia Commonwealth University suggested that dog owners enjoy their work more, and are also more productive than humans without dogs.

This might be because in general, when people are in a good mood, they become more productive.

The study showed that employees who brought their dogs to work had lower stress levels throughout the day and felt more satisfied with their jobs.

But besides making day to day life more enjoyable, dogs also help us remember what life is really about!

Family, friends, loving and being loved, enjoying the simple moments, being outside.

Dogs will make you love your routine, while making you break the routine by always having something new to do, new places to discover, new fun tricks to teach, and new things to laugh at.

A Dog Will Make You Happier

In the end, here’s the simple truth: having a dog will make you a happier human. It will also make you more human.

Having a dog is one of the most rewarding and special of human experiences.

Dogs make us happier, more carefree, more empathetic and friendly, among so many other good things.

I know some people who avoid having pets because they don’t want to grieve when they’re gone.

But as Pollyanna says: “Life shouldn’t be spent thinking about death.”

The years spent by your side are the dog’s entire life.

Each moment with your dog is so precious both for you, and for them. You can make them as happy as they make you happy.

Dogs are loyal friends that you will always cherish and always carry with you in your heart.

Photo by Simona.