DOGS make owners twice as happy as cats, a new survey has revealed.
Pet owners were asked which creature made them the happiest and 47 per cent said their dog compared to just under a quarter who voted for their cat.
A huge 83 per cent of pet parents said their animal had improved their emotional wellbeing and a third said that having a dog made them feel healthier thanks to taking them out for walks.
Pets came out top when people were asked who makes us ‘consistently happy’ with 43 per cent saying their furry friend did this the most, followed by family at 42 per cent and an eighth voting for friends.
Two thirds of owners saying being around pets made them feel less stressed and more relaxed, 53 per cent said they enjoyed the unconditional love from their dog or cat, 43 per cent said they loved their ‘cuddliness’ and a third said their pet gave them a ‘sense of purpose.’
The UK pooch population stands at 8.5 million compared to 8 million moggies. Dogs are thought to make owners happier as they’re more affectionate – wagging their tails and covering owners in slobbery kisses – whereas cats tend to be more aloof.
Having a dog means more exercise creating endorphins and feel good hormones which cat owners miss out on.
Katherine Jacobs Bao from Manhattanville College in New York who carried out a study into the different personality traits of pet owners explained: “Dog owners were happier than cat owners and were significantly more conscientious and less neurotic.”
The poll of 1000 Brits was carried out by Natures Menu pet food as part of a study of the impact having a pet has on wellbeing.
Head vet Claire Miller said: “It’s widely known that animals do wonders for our emotional and physical health, so it’s great to see that as a nation we really do believe that they are great for our overall happiness.
“Whilst pets can help to boost our mood, of course, we also need to ensure that they are happy too. A diet that’s high in nutritional value and is balanced, combined with plenty of exercise will ensure that they thrive.
“Look out for a wagging tail in response to human contact from your pooch or a kitty settling on your lap. These are clear indications that you make your pet as happy as they make you!”
This story appeared in the Sun on Sunday and you can read it here Why dog owners are happier than cat owners…