At the end of the year, a Finnish study found that pet owners were not as healthy as their animal free counterparts.
But a rebuttal has been put forth, at least for dog owners. A very recent study suggests that the companionship offered by canines has a positive influence on humans. Sorry cats.
Dog owners tend to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and suffer less frequently from other minor ailments. Researcher believe the reason is two fold. One, the physical exercise that dogs require are not just beneficial for the dog. Walkies are good for humans too. In addition, contact with other dog owners and the social element of walking a dog seems to help dog owners psychologically. My girls go "ga-ga" for dogs on the street and we talk to all the owners. When I walk my doggie, I am constantly talking to folks (but I do that anyway).
All I have to say about this study is - WOOF!!!