We all know that there are many benefits to owning a dog. Research has shown that having a canine companion can help reduce stress, ease depression, add meaning and purpose to your life, and make you happier and healthier in general. Now, a new survey says these little spiritual gurus can even help bridge political divides. In the survey, carried out by Goldn—a new online pet parenting service—87 percent of respondents said they’ve been able to share values with a fellow dog owner even if they have political differences.
On top of that, when asked whether they get agitated speaking with someone of a different political opinion, 25 percent more people said they would keep their cool if that person was a dog owner versus if they didn’t have a pup. Maybe you can’t agree on the country’s healthcare system, but you can both agree that coming home to belly rubs cures everything.
Overall, the survey found that the mere act of owning of a dog seems to make people assume you’re a good person. Forty percent of respondents said they’d talk to a stranger if they had a dog with them, and 50 percent more people said they’d give a homeless person food or money if they had a dog versus if they were alone.
Seeing as dogs are naturally empathetic creatures, it seems their ability to love anyone and everyone can make us more compassionate ourselves. It’s one of the many things about them that’s so inspiring.
“We’ve known for some time the positive power that comes from letting a dog into your heart,” Jared Kasner, co-founder of Goldn, said in a statement. “This survey suggests people are leveraging that positive power to be empathetic and kind in a world that’s often harsh.”
Having a dog may not always be easy, but, as Kasner notes, the survey’s results suggest that “dog parenting changes us for the better.”