In 2016, researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) administrated quite possibly the most adorable study mankind has ever seen.

According to Rebecca Johnson, a professor at the MU college of Veterinary Medicine, the study explored the link between dog ownership and pet bonding with walking behaviour and health outcomes among older adults.

The study used data about human-animal interactions, physical activity, frequency of doctor visits and health from the 12th wave (2012) of the Health and Retirement Study, a panel study that surveys a representative sample of approximately 20,000 people in America over the age of 50 every two years.

And the results? Dog walking is associated with fewer doctor visits, frequent exercise, lower body mass index (BMI) and an increase in social activities.

Older adults who are pet owners benefit from the bonds they form with their canine companions. In fact, daily exercise and companionship can lead to better mental and physical outcomes for both you and Fido.

Results from the study also indicated that people with a stronger bond with their pets were more likely to spend more time walking their dogs than those who reported weaker bonds.

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