In addition to making you happier, which is known to make you live longer, it turns out that people who own dogs are not only more likely to take regular walks, but to get more exercise in general. Old people in particular are more likely to stay active with a dog — they're more likely to take regular walks with a canine companion than they are with a human one. More exercise also means longer life, so as some of us have known all along, owning a dog is a win-win. As opposed to owning a cat, which not only makes you feel bad about yourself but eventually turns you into a non-exercising shut-in as you are locked into a battle of wills with a creature who eats your food, lives entirely in your space, and poops in a box you have to clean — but doesn't love you unconditionally.
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