As we have probably all heard one million times, a dog is a man’s best friend, and with their everlasting, radiating cheerfulness and adorable faces, it is probably not a question as to why these furry creatures have wriggled their way into both the hearts and homes of almost 45% of American households. However, it turns out that owning one of these little guys can actually provide a range of health benefits as well, and there have even been studies that show that the average dog owner even lives a longer life than a person without a dog.

To start, a dog’s nose is around one thousand times keener than our own, and during the past two decades countless cases of dogs sniffing out disease lingering on their owners have been reported. Dogs are even able to sense when a diabetic’s blood sugars are low and when a food contains a certain ingredient in which a certain person is allergic to. They can help you to seek out disease in its early stage in order for treatment to be more effective.

If you are worried about your child not developing a strong immune system, owning a dog can help. A study concluded that having a dog around can lower a child’s likelihood of contracting a pet related allergy by up to 33%, simply by exposure therapy.

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Dogs are also on top of that a great conversation starter in order to meet new people, and it is said that most humans find it attractive when their partner is a dog owner as it displays commitment and responsibility. They also help keep us more active as we feel obliged to provide our furry friends the exercise they need to stay happy and healthy, therefore walk outside more get more fresh air. Walking is said to have a mental effect which makes us feel rejuvenated and clear-headed.

Finally, owning a dog is a wonderful way to give us a sense of purpose. Many American’s today suffer from clinical depression, but having a dog to offer a person unconditional love and combat loneliness is a proven way to boost mood and release dopamine inside the brain, making us feel happier and more fulfilled. Although dog ownership may seem like a challenge for some, some of the metal and physical benefits in which these humble creatures can offer can really be worth the effort, and is proven to lead to a longer, happier life.