Hanging out with our four-legged friends can do wonders for your wellbeing.

We take care of our dogs. We wash them, walk them and even pick up their poop. Well, most of us do.

But did you know dogs are actually the ones taking care of us? Dogs may not help out around the house, or deliver chicken noodle soup to you when you’re sick, but they are helping in many other ways. You just don’t realize it.

Here are seven scientific benefits of being a dog owner.

Number 7: They can detect cancer

This is Lucy. She’s learned to sniff out certain types of cancer, with a 95% accuracy rate! This is better than some cancer diagnosing lab tests.

Other dogs have been known to continually smell certain areas on their owners, or lick their moles. When their owners go to the doctor to get checked out, it’s often discovered that they have cancer in those areas.

Dogs smell cancer using 300 million sensors in their nose, and their Jacobson’s organ: a second smelling organ in the back of their noses that makes their smelling ability even more powerful.

Number 6: They help with your heart health

Dogs help with your heart simply by being such a joy to be around. Seriously. A 2017 Oregon State University study found that dog owners have less chance of coronary artery disease and have lower blood pressure. The subjects in the study who had a dog were said to have lower blood pressure by 3.34 mmhg than those who didn’t.

The hormone oxytocin, also known to be a natural ‘love drug,’ is released each time you pet your dog. It’s a natural de-stressor, leading to lower blood pressure.

Number 5: They help you stay healthy

This may make you think a little differently about man’s best friend but… your dog is covered in germs. They’re constantly bringing in bacteria that you’re not used to. But don’t worry, there’s a benefit to it.

With this increase of bacteria in your body, it gives your immune system a boost, helping fight off disease. This leads to dog owners being sick less and when they do get sick it, it’s not as severe.

Number 4: They help you fight off allergies

In addition to helping with colds, dogs also help prevent allergic reactions! A University of Wisconsin study found that children who grow up with dogs are almost 20% less likely to get allergies than children who don’t have pets.

A study from the University of Alberta showed that if you lived with a dog while pregnant, your child would be less prone to allergies. Dog owners’ children are born with bacteria in their gut that prevents common allergies and even obesity.

Number 3: They keep you active

Does your cat ever get you to leave your house? Didn’t think so, but dogs do. Dog owners are much more active, without even having to think about it.

Dogs need to be walked and played with more than any other pet. A University of Missouri study showed that walking your dog for 20 minutes, five days a week can lead to you losing almost 15 pounds per year.

Number 2: They Reduce Stress in the Workplace

A study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed that bringing dogs to work can significantly decrease stress and increase productivity.

So tell your boss, because having dogs at work also means you can take them out for walks. And when you come back, you’ll be more energized than before!

And the number 1 Scientific Benefit of being a dog owner is: They Make You Happy

This one may seem obvious, I mean, how can you not be happy looking at a face like this?

It’s been scientifically proven that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression. Even if you do suffer, having a dog can help. Owning a dog will get you out of the house more often, give you a consistent schedule, and might even lead to you meeting more people.

There you have it. Dogs are cute, cuddly, they keep you company and can be extremely beneficial to your health.
So while they’re quietly taking care of you, make sure you take care of your Crazy Creature.