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Believe it or not, owning a pet can improve your overall health. There's scientific data that suggests that perhaps everyone should own a pet, as long as you don't dislike animals or have an allergic reaction to them.

Does a pet help your heart?
People who own pets actually have lower cholersterol and blood pressure levels than those who do not own pets. Dr. W.P. Anderson at the Baker Medical Research Institute found that because pets help calm us, our risk for cardiovascular disease is diminished. Another study actually found that having a pet decreases your risk for a heart attack by as much as three percent.

How else do pets improve your health?
Pet owners exercise more than non-pet owners. They know they have to take their dogs for walks or to play catch with frisbees several times a day.
For children, owning a pet improves their self esteem. They have a non-family member who loves them unconditionally and wants their undivided attention.
Pet studies have also proven that people with pets have lower levels of stress and anxiety and aren't depressed as often as those who do not own pets. It also, believe it or not, helps improve a person's social skills. Interacting with your pet, especially for someone who has a pre-existing condition such as hearing loss or is in an otherwise difficult working or living environment can enjoy the company of a pet as a break from the remainder of the world and from others.