Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Owning a dog makes you healthier & more relaxed, says science


If you've got a cat near you, you might want to restrain them. Because it looks like they're firmly second in second place when it comes to being man's best friend.

A study by Medical News Today has revealed that not only do children with dogs experience lower stress - but they also have a lower body mass index.

Yes, that's right - owning a dog will actually make you thinner. Maybe it's because the dog just steals all your food? Researchers adjusted for the fact that pet-owning families may differ from non-pet-owning families in terms of socioeconomic factors and still found that dog-owning helped reduce BMI.

It's long been well-known that having a furry companion will increase your general sense of wellbeing, what with all those hugs and blind loyalty, but it seems that the mental benefits go beyond this.

According to the study, children are able to use their ownership of a dog as a conversation icebreaker, which aids them in dealing with social anxiety, putting them at ease. Children aged 7-8 also prefer dogs to humans, as they are able to use them as a confidant, aiding them in building self-esteem. In total, among the 58 per cent of children who own a dog in the home, 12 per cent tested positive on a screening test for anxiety, compared with 21 per cent of children who were dogless.

Researchers concluded that, “Interacting with a friendly dog also reduces cortisol levels, most likely through oxytocin release, which lessens physiologic responses tostress. These hormonal effects may underlie the observed emotional and behavioural benefits of animal-assisted therapy and pet dogs.”

So there you have it. Go and get a dog right now and improve your life. Scientists have told you to.

(Image: Shutterstock)



Your cat is probably thinking about killing you (say scientists)

dog 2.jpg

This dog will clean your house


Amazing compilation of cats being spooked by cucumbers


All the times Donald Trump has failed to condemn far-right extremists

This has gone on for some time

by Tom Victor
16 Aug 2017

Flight attendants share the 25 worst things passengers do

How many of them are you guilty of?

by Gary Ogden
16 Aug 2017

Obama's response to Charlottesville is now the most-liked tweet ever

Puts Trump's response to shame

by Emily Reynolds
16 Aug 2017

English accents have been ranked by sexiness - where is yours?

You lot up north will be happy

by Gary Ogden
16 Aug 2017

Unmissable TV shows Reddit says you have to watch before you die

From gritty dramas to kids' classics

by Emily Reynolds
15 Aug 2017

The surprising side-effect of spending just 5 minutes on Facebook

It only takes five minutes of Facebooking

by Emily Reynolds
15 Aug 2017

Uber is going to start charging you for making your driver wait

Your cab home's about to get a bit more pricey

by Carl Anka
15 Aug 2017

John Oliver takes down Trump over his comments on Charlottesville

Doing what he does best

by Gary Ogden
14 Aug 2017

This amputee has the best Tinder profile ever

You've gotta hand it to her

11 Aug 2017

Ginger emojis are finally coming!

Justice is finally being done

by Emily Reynolds
11 Aug 2017