– 300 per week: The number of minutes walked by dog owners compared to 168 minutes walked per week by non-dog owners, according to a study by the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

– Just 15 minutes in a quiet room with your dog can lower blood pressure by 20 percent, according to a study from University of Missouri-Columbia.

– A pet can also help you be more socially connected. People who walk with their dogs report increased interactions — up to 21 times more often — especially with strangers, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychology.

– Four-legged friends can also help improve cardiovascular health, according to the National Institutes of Health. One study looked at 421 adults who'd suffered heart attacks. A year later, the scientists found, dog owners were significantly more likely to still be alive than were those who did not own dogs, regardless of the severity of the heart attack.

– 367: That's the number of extra steps that kids with dogs take versus kids who do not have dogs, according to a study from the American Public Health Association.

– Children living in homes with dogs are less likely to develop allergies — by as much as 33 percent — than kids who don't, according to research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Children who had a dog at home as newborns were much less likely to have atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema (12 percent versus 27 percent) and wheezing (19 percent versus 36 percent) by their third birthday.