Dogs and cats make people happier, study says

I exist only to make you happier, you selfish humans. (Source: Flickr/joshme17)

Folks, there's no need to interact with other people anymore. Cats and dogs are making people healthier and happier, according to a recent study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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Friends with Benefits: On the Positive Consequences of Pet Ownership [pdf] claims the positive affects of owning a pet are real, citing such correlations as "pet owners are less likely to die within 1 year of having a heart attack than those who do not own pets."

Of course, cats and dogs are also destroying childhoods, stealing furniture and mauling humans. But we digress.

Even though there's evidence that pets aid in stressful situations, the study's authors couldn't determine if this was because of the pets themselves, or because of the kind of human company that dog and cat owners keep:

In fact ...we repeatedly observed evidence that people who enjoyed greater benefits from their pets also were closer to other important people in their lives and received more support from them, not less.

The sure road to happiness: Develop relationships with humans, not pets.

[via WaPo]

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