A recent study involving over 21,000 canine subjects examined the environmental and social factors linked with increased lifespans for dogs. According to the study’s findings, adding another furry four-legged friend to your home may be a key factor in your pup’s wellbeing and overall health.

Study suggests the importance of canine companionship

People shared a recent study by the Dog Aging Project. According to the group’s website, the Dog Aging Project’s mission is to “brin[g] together a community of dogs, owners, veterinarians, researchers, and volunteers to carry out the most ambitious canine health study in the world.” Evidence from the study indicates dogs who regularly socialize with other dogs have improved overall health. This was particularly noticeable in homes with more than one pet.

Findings from the study published in the journal Evolution, Medicine & Public Health also suggested having other non-canine pets in the home was associated with improved health outcomes for dogs. This means data indicated dogs were healthier if they shared a home with another companion animal, whether it be a dog or even a cat.

The study’s findings were based on thorough survey data from over 21,000 dogs. Scientists from Arizona State University, the University of Washington, and other prestigious institutions collected and reviewed data for the study.

Furry friendship may increase dog’s lifespan

Researchers also investigated how environmental factors affected the lifespan and overall health of dogs. Factors include household income, neighborhood stability, and the age of a dog’s owners.

Dogs in homes with older owners and a higher financial income were reported to be in better health than dogs in less stable environments with younger owners. Additionally, neighborhood stability was a factor that contributed to lengthened lifespan.

The study’s researchers discovered that the importance of these factors pales in comparison to the impact of canine companionship. According to the data, the influence of socialization has a five times greater impact than the effect of economic considerations.

Brianah McCoy is a lead researcher in the study. In an interview with FOX 13, McCoy said the team was encouraged by the results. “It means there are things we can do to help improve the health of our animal companions,” she explained.

Due to the correlative nature of the study, researchers are unable to provide precise advice to dog owners. But for man and canine alike, the need for companionship is clearly universal.

“Having a friend around really matters – which I am sure we can all relate to,” McCoy said.

Looking for ways to help your dog make friends? You can check out some helpful tips here.

Autor Erin Boswell


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