Dogs have long been recognized as highly social animals, but a new study shows that regular socialization with both humans and other pets can go as far as to improve their health and lengthen their lifespans.
This study, conducted as part of the Dog Aging Project and led by researchers from the University of Washington and Texas A&M Schools of Medicine, examined over 21,000 dogs to determine what factors contributed the most to healthy aging. Regular social time was found to be the most influential factor by a large margin, outpacing other factors such as the owner’s age, the presence of children in the household, or the family’s finances, researchers told CBS News. The study, however, does not quantify lifespan.
The study was recently published in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. The overall objective of the Dog Aging Project is to study the influence of social environment, lifestyle, and genetics on dogs’ health and well-being as they age.
Making the Most of Playtime with Your Dog
A pet parent’s responsibility for their four-legged companion extends beyond providing food, shelter, and other basic needs. Regular quality time, composed of activities like play, walks, or even just cuddling on the couch, is a must to guarantee that your pup lives a long and healthy life.
For instance, investing in wholesale dog toys, custom plush toys, dog tennis balls, and other items is one great way to ensure that your dog has plenty of variety during playtime—which means more mental stimulation, which in turn supports their overall mental health. Take your cue from the insight brought up by the Dog Aging Project and ensure ample socialization time for your dog, whether with your family members or with other pets and their pet parents.
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