Elise Cagnard, Opinions Contributor

As someone who has recently lived with two cats and a dog, I can unequivocally say that there is no greater pet than a dog.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cats dearly. Simply put, there is just nothing that compares to the bond you have with your dog.

There are many perks to dogs and very few cons. The biggest concern is usually that a dog is relatively high maintenance. While that is true, this actually turns out to be a positive thing.

A dog gives you no choice but to live a healthy lifestyle. Dogs, like humans, need to exercise daily. As we all know, sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to get up and move your body.

Having someone else depend on you for their daily walk is an incredible motivator to get out of the house and step into nature, which in turn is great for your mental health, according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Additionally, dogs are proven to be smarter than cats, according to CNN. Dogs have over double the neurons that a cat does, which means they can process information more efficiently. Because of this, they can perform more high-level tasks and serve as guide dogs or detection dogs.

Dogs are also able to see and smell human emotions, which makes them excellent companions and service animals.

On another note, dogs can also be helpful in cases of protection. A house has a much lower chance of being broken into if the culprit hears a dog inside. Even the bark of a tiny chihuahua can be enough to save you from a home invasion.

Overall, a dog can be a genuine pillar in your life with very tangible benefits.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.