9 Science-Backed Reasons to Own a Dog

TIME

Loyal, protective, and always happy to see you, the dog has been a human companion for more than 18,000 years, making it one of the first domesticated animals in history.

Don’t just take our word for it.

Scientists have proof that dogs make us laugh more than cats, keep us more active than the average human companion, and even reduce our chances of depression.

So, if you need a little more convincing, or you need to convince someone else in the household, here are the cold, hard facts for why you should own a dog.

1. Dogs Make Us Laugh

People who own dogs laugh more, according to a study published in the journal Society & Animals. Researchers asked people who owned dogs, cats, both, or neither to record how often they laughed over the course of a day. Those who owned just dogs and both dogs and cats…

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