Probably not, but it is a start!
The debate has been raging since the dawn of mankind, since human beings domesticated the first animals and began developing a relationship that would last for eons to come – which pet is better, dogs or cats?
Of course, we say this with a wink and a bit of a nod. Ultimately, regardless of how many studies that are conducted, this is a highly subjective topic. Still, we are happy to report that a survey has shown that people who have dogs in their lives are slightly happier than people who have cats.
“Wooohooo! Dogs Rule!”– Everyone reading this right now
There are plenty of studies on both sides of the cat/dog debate, like this one by the American Health Association Journal that says owning a dog can improve survival after a cardiovascular event or this one that shows that people who own cats are better with relationships. Both arguments have merit, but at the end of the day whether the noun in the title is cat or dog all of them are saying the same thing, and that is that having pets is good.
But the survey in question, conducted by The General Social Survey from the University of Chicago, is intriguing because it wasn’t aimed specifically at pet owners for the purpose of proving something about the benefits of owning one type of animal over another. Nothing against the studies above but as mentioned they give a more general sense of things and don’t get down into the weeds on the topic of which is better.
The survey by the GSS is a little different because in 2018 it took a random sampling of households in the country, where 6 out of 10 own a pet, and asked questions about ownership. The results of one question about happiness found that dog owners were 10% happier than people who own cats – as explained in this Washington Post article.
Furthermore, and this is where it gets really interesting, the survey found that dog people were happier than people who don’t own pets, and that cat people are not as happy as people who don’t own pets. That is a bit mind blowing.
What does this mean? Well, ultimately it seems to indicate that dog owners are just plain happier.
However this is not a victory lap for dog owners, it’s just an interesting factoid. If our social feeds have taught us anything in the end it’s that cat owners are just as in love with their furry companions as dog owners.