It's a research that does not bark up the wrong tree.
According to Deborah Wells a researcher from Queen's University, Belfast, there is enough evidence to back the fact that owning a dog is indeed good for your health.
Not only does it result in lower blood pressure and cholesterol, it reduces the occurrence of minor ailments and reduces occurrence of more serious medical problems. This could be attributed to the positive impact of owning a dog as well as walking it, she says.
Publishing her findings in British Journal of Health Psychology Wells says, "It is possible that dogs can directly promote our well-being by buffering us from stress. The ownership of a dog can also lead to increases in physical activity and facilitate the development of social contacts, which may enhance physiological and psychological human health in a more indirect manner."
Wells' findings stem from her extensive reviews of previous studies done on the subject.
Wells claims that owning a dog definitely pays better than even owning a cat as dog owners seem to maintain a better health over longer periods as against cat owners. One study showed that dog owners suffered lesser colds and headaches and maintained this phenomenon for over 10 months as against a much lesser period than cat owners.
Previous studies have shown that dog owners are more likely by about 8.6 percent to be alive an year after a heart attack.
Dogs are also shown to be able to sniff out malignant melanomas, as well as low sugar levels in their owners. They can also act as warning systems for epilepsy.
Other studies have shown that the presence of dogs help chronically ill children cope better with painful medical procedures and can even help people with mental disorders like schizophrenia to stay calm and controlled.
Wells' findings can definitely put man's best friend just right there.