The phrase, “a man’s best friend” came about for a reason. Studies show that having a dog, or any pet for that matter, can better your life in more ways than one. If you are a pet owner, you know the feeling of loving an animal, and if you aren’t one you are missing out.

Adopting a pet can have physical and mental health benefits. This infographic, courtesy of Carlton Hobbs, illustrates how saving a pet could very well save your life.

Besides the overwhelming feeling of unconditional love, another benefit of owning a pet is a longer life. On average, those who own a pet live two years longer than those who do not. Not only that, but humans and dogs share the hormone oxytocin which is released during mutual interactions. Oxytocin can reduce blood pressure, increase pain tolerance, and reduce anxiety. Moreover, dogs can learn to detect and warn owners of oncoming seizure before they happen.

Owning a pet has its mental health benefits as well. Animals are known to increase serotonin (the feel-good hormone) levels as well as make you feel less anxious and stressed. Therapists have even prescribed a pet as a way of dealing with and recovering from depression.