If you want more happiness, get a pet.
In the 80s and 90s, research came out suggesting many benefits from pet ownership. From reduced risk of asthma, allergies, and cardiovascular disease to increased mood and wellbeing.
Some doctors started recommending pet ownership to their patients.
I thought the decision was a no-brainer. It seems fun and the companionship will be great. Once I have enough money, let’s get a pet!
But as scientists became more rigorous with their research, many of the benefits started to disappear.
The average person sees no change to their mood and life satisfaction from having a pet, although there are outliers.
The benefits were overstated while the costs were swept under the rug.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be getting a pet, only that I have to think harder before I make a decision.
Let’s start with something objective.