If you’re a dog owner who’s been on the fence about adding another pet to your household, new research may push you into doing it. A recent study finds that the key to keeping your dog healthy could be having another furry friend at home.
A research team from the Dog Aging Project, which includes scientists from Arizona State University and the University of Washington, as well as other medical institutions, studied data on more than 21-thousand dogs.
- They looked at the way social environments and environmental factors, like the stability of a neighborhood and the age of the dog’s owners, affects a dog’s lifespan and overall health.
- The research reveals that dogs who get regular social interaction from living with another dog are more likely to have “better health” outcomes than dogs with less access to socialization.
- But it doesn’t have to be a dog, having other types of pets in the home is also associated with better health for dogs.
- Study authors found that dogs who live with another companion animal are “significantly healthier” than dogs who don’t have a household companion pet.
- While dogs in homes with greater financial stability and older owners were found to be in better health than those in more unstable environments and with younger owners, it’s not nearly as beneficial as the effects of social companionship.
- The study finds that the impact of socialization for dogs is five times stronger than the effect of financial factors.