Are you a dog or cat lover? One of the animals may make you happier than the other, according to a new report.
The General Social Survey, which measures political, cultural and behavioral changes across America, recently released the results of its 2018 study, which included questions about pet ownership for the first time.
After analyzing the results, the survey found 36% of dog-only owners said they were “very happy,” but only 18 percent of cat-only owners said the same, the Washington Post reported.
About 32% of those with no pets and 28% of dog and cat owners said they were “very happy.”
While its unclear why dog owners are happier than cat owners, the researchers noted those with dogs are more likely than those with cats to be married and own homes. Both of those factors are known to boost happiness and life satisfaction, the findings showed.
The researchers also said dog owners are more likely to form friendships with those in their neighborhoods, because they typically meet people while walking their pets.
Furthermore, dog owners are more likely to consider their pet a family member. They also play with their pets more and seek comfort from them. The analysts said they believe pet owners have stronger bonds with their dogs, which could create a greater sense of well-being.
Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full assessment here.