If you think pets are the pits, you may not be living to your potential. A new survey finds that people who own pets are happier, earn more money, and exercise more frequently than those who don’t.
In a poll of 1,000 British dog and cat owners over 55 and 1,000 people in the same age group who don’t have any pets, researchers calculated that pet owners were twice as likely to consider themselves a success. In fact, 9 in 10 owners agreed that their furry family members were good for their health and well-being. The belief makes sense: the survey showed that pet owners log nearly twice as much exercise, getting a good sweat about five times per week, versus just three time a week for the non-owners.
“The many benefits of pet ownership also include the cardio-vascular exercise of dog-walking, and even the light housework associated with feeding and clearing up after our beloved animals,” says psychologist and author Corinne Sweet in a release.
The survey, commissioned by McCarthy & Stone, a leading retirement housebuilder in the United Kingdom, might make you wonder more about the seemingly sadder lives of the non-owner group. That’s because the researchers claim pet owners surveyed were more likely to be married, have a child, hold a college degree, and work the “perfect job.”
But perhaps most shockingly, having a cat or dog is somehow linked to a higher salary. Pet-loving participants earned nearly $5,200 more per year than their counterparts.