Sure, picking up after your dog may be a low point in your day, but it turns out that owning a pet may actually be good for your mental health.
A new survey says pets can be catalysts for social interaction. In other words, your dog is helping you make friends. The study published in the scientific journal PLoS One reports that pet owners are 60 percent more likely to make friends in their neighborhood compared to non-pet owners.
The Harvard Health Blog notes that those social connections at the dog park may have long-term benefits, as well. Research has shown that people with larger social networks are about 50 percent more likely to live longer than those with smaller social circles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also points out there are plenty of other health reasons to get a pet, including to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.