First comes marriage, then comes…puppies? At least that’s the case for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who just reached peak #couplegoals by turning their family of two into a family of three with a furry new addition. (No pics yet, but we’re 100-percent sure he/she is a very good boy/girl.)
According to People, the couple adopted a Labrador retriever toward the beginning of summer. Since then, the trio has been splitting their time between their home in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace and their country getaway in the Cotswolds, a rural area in England that’s known for its stunning rolling hills. You know, the kind perfect for playing fetch.
Here are 5 ways getting a dog is a great move for your health.
1. It’ll make you happier.
One of the best parts about having a dog is that you have a reason to get out and go on a walk a couple times a day. And one study found that time spent hitting the pavement with your pooch is something that gives your and their happiness a boost.
2. You’ll be more active.
Of course, the whole walking thing is great for your physical health, too. According to researchers, dog walkers are much more physically active, spending “less time sitting on the coldest, wettest, and darkest days than non-dog owners were on long, sunny, and warm days.”
3. You’ll be more social.
Watching Netflix all night with your dog definitely counts as a self-care practice—but having a pet can also lead to more QT with other people. In a study published in PLoS One, researchers found dog-owners were 60 percent more likely than those without a dog to become friends with people in their neighborhood. Making friends as an adult can be hard, but your four-legged buddy can definitely help.
4. You’ll be less stressed.
Dogs are such good stress reducers that many universities are now introducing puppy study breaks during exam periods. A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found that children who have a pet dog are less likely to experience anxiety.
5. You could live longer.
Having a dog clearly has some major health perks—all of which really add up. According to a survey of 3.4 million people published in the journal Scientific Reports, owning a dog can also increase your lifespan. The participants who owned a dog decreased their risk of death by 36 percent compared to those who didn’t have a pet. So yep, it looks like the duke and duchess made a smart move. Now if only they would share a picture…
Here’s exactly how to make sure your dog stays healthy in the heat. Or, find out if you should be worried about germs if your dog sleeps in your bed.