couple-walking-dogCharles M. Schulz, creator of the famous Peanuts comic strip, once proclaimed “Happiness is a warm puppy.” As it turns out, that sweet and cozy little dog (or cat) also may have a significant impact on the overall happiness of your relationship.

For couples who are thinking about adopting a pet together, consider the following: Being parents to a four-legged fur baby is a good sign a relationship will last, according to the Relationship Playbook. And owning a pet is a better sign the relationship will endure than if the couple has a child together.

With this in mind, the following five reasons help explain why couples who own a pet are more likely to stay together:

Dogs and Cats Are Good Medicine

Having a pet in the home can actually help keep your blood pressure low. One study of 240 married couples found those who had a pet had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure than those who did not own one, according to WebMD. In addition, other studies concluded pet owners tend to stay calmer during times of stress, as pointed out by the Relationship Playbook. When you consider how difficult it can be to balance a job, your love life, household tasks, paying bills, errands and everything else that comes up every day, it is easy to see how sitting down and petting a dog or cat can help keep stress at bay.

Pets Create Adoring Owners

Although you might not love cleaning the litter box or scooping up doggy poo from the yard, chances are good you and your partner both think the world of your dog or cat. In fact, even when couples don’t see eye to eye on a variety of other subjects, from politics and religion to how to properly hang a roll of toilet paper, they will agree their pet is one of the greatest beings in the entire world. This shared interest and affection can be very powerful.

Pets Turn Owners into Social Animals

Many pets require humans to get up and get out of the house. From walking the dog to taking the cat into the vet for checkups, caring for pets can help to keep couples active and happy. Couples who have adopted a pet tend to socialize more with each other, as well as other people, notes The Nest.

Pets Require a Team Effort

Couples who own pets must work together to take care of them. In addition to selecting which dog or cat to adopt together, they will also discuss which veterinarian to use, what type of food to buy and which training classes to attend. Once the pet has been adopted, couples will continue to work as a team to decide on the pet’s feeding and exercise schedule, and whose turn it is to clean up the yard. These decisions typically improve a couple’s ability to work together and get along.

Happy Pets Equal Happy Owners

There is nothing quite like getting home after a long day at work, only to be greeted by an enthusiastic and tail-wagging dog. Interacting with pets has a tangible effect on our mood through the release of serotonin, a chemical found in the brain, according to The Relationship Playbook. And, when people are happier individuals they are also more likely to be happier with the one they love. —James Bowman