Recent studies show that owning a dog may have significant advantages over cats and other pets. The American Heart Association released these statements:
- Some studies have found an association between pet ownership and lower blood pressure
- Few studies are available related to pet ownership and lipid levels
- Dog walking (rather than just pet or dog ownership) seems to be associated with a lower incidence of obesity
- Most, but not all, studies have found a beneficial relationship between pet ownership and reaction to stress (e.g., lower heart rate and blood pressure responses)
- Studies with beneficial effects have included dogs or cats, but other pets also have been found to provide benefits, including goat, fish, chimpanzee, and snake ownership
- Pet ownership was not associated with reduced overall mortality in individuals without established CVD but may provide benefits for patients with established CVD
- Dogs seem to be the pet most likely to provide a positive influence on human physical activity
- Dog owners engage in more physical activity and walking and are more likely to meet recommended amounts of physical activity than are nonowners
- Physical activity levels do not seem to be associated with cat or other pet ownership
- Although data related to dogs are the strongest, this could be because dogs are more commonly owned and are most likely to increase the owner’s physical activity
If you are searching for a way to become more active, try taking your cat for a walk...
It should be noted that pet ownership should not be pursued for the sole purpose of improving health and reducing risks of diseases.
You also don't have to deal with a smelly litter box. That is a plus in my opinion.