DogHealth & Diet

Recent Study Shows That Dogs May Stay in ‘Better Health’ If They Have A Pet Friend

A recent study shows that companion dogs that live with other dogs in their house were significantly healthier than dogs that don’t.

The research shows that the effect of having another pet friend in the household was five times stronger than other factors, such as financial and household stability, on a dog’s health.

The study, conducted by the Dog Aging Project (DAP), also mentioned that having other pets (non-canines) has positive contributions on a dog’s health.

A Young, Playful Dog Jack Russell Terrier Runs Meadow In Autumn With Another Big Black Dog
Pawel Rajtar /

Brianah McCoy, lead researcher of the study, told FOX, “We were really encouraged by the findings because it means there are things we can do to help improve the health of our animal companions, as well as us, without resorting to medical interventions. So having a friend around really matters – which I am sure we can all relate to.

The findings of the research show other social environment components that affected and are associated with a dog’s health and lifespan.

A dog owners’ income is one of these components. The study suggests that an owner with a higher income was associated with better health.

Another one was an owner’s age. Older owners reported that their dogs were a lot healthier compared to younger owners.

One Dachshund Dog Holds A Soft Toy In The Shape Of Snowman In Its Teeth, And The Other Sniffs ItOne Dachshund Dog Holds A Soft Toy In The Shape Of Snowman In Its Teeth, And The Other Sniffs It
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Furthermore, dogs who lived in households that are more stable and with less children are reportedly healthier than those canines who lived with less stability and more children.

The researchers used survey and health data from 21,410 purebred and mixed-breed dogs between the ages of 2 and 25.5 years old.

McCoy said the goal of the study is to use this newfound knowledge so we can advocate for better health care and support for dogs, regardless of their age and background.

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McCoy revealed, “We turned to dogs for this question because they share so much of our environment and lived experiences, but because of their shorter lives, we can study the environmental effects across the lifespan.”

The Dog Aging Project is a community science project that brings together a large community with the goal of carrying out researches to understand how genes, lifestyle and the environment influence canine aging and diseases outcomes.

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