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Pets Are Good For the Body and the Soul

News to Me: Pets Are Good For the Soul

What's not to love about pets? They're cute, cuddly, loyal friends, and they have an amazing ability to cheer you up when you're down. I'm a huge animal lover and now research shows that owning a pet can be beneficial to your mental and physical well-being (as long as you're not deathly allergic!).

Not only do pets offer you unconditional love, but they may also help to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve the appetites of Alzheimer's patients.

Having a pet such as a dog also gets people out of the house and promotes exercise, which can help with depression and social anxiety. Pet owners also benefit from the feeling of being needed and loved, so a pet can help improve poor self-esteem and loneliness.

Dear's Advice: You don't have to own a pet to reap the benefits of animals. Take a friend's dog for a walk or cat sit for a neighbor who's going on vacation. You can also visit a shelter or volunteer as a dog walker. Whatever your choice, you'll both benefit from the time spent together.


Join The Conversation
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
I've always known about the benefits of having a pet. This is why I want a puppy!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
My cat really makes things easier when I'm going through a tough time I know I have to get out of bed and take care of him.
acupofjoy acupofjoy 9 years
I wish we didn't rent...we'd love to get a puppy.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
I love my kittens :-D they're so much fun and they're adorable and sweet (and spoiled rotten :-p). I definitely miss them when I'm away at college.
emalove emalove 9 years
My cats have brought true joy to my life...when I got them in 2004, I was going through some real tough things and they were one of the only things that made me feel happy.
NotSoSweet NotSoSweet 9 years
I cant agree more! People who dont have pets take life a lot more at ease and know how to chill out and enjoy the simple things in life. I've known kids who have had parents that never let them have animals and they act scared and uneasy around friendly pets, its werid, I am all for pets, if your single, married, with kids or not. LOVE MY PETS! I have 5! lol 3 dogs 1 cat and a horse...guess you dont need that many, one usually does the trick...
millarci millarci 9 years
We have a rat terrier in the office and I love him to death! He's definitely a stress reliever.
marthalilian126 marthalilian126 9 years
I can definitely credit my dog with helping me through some tough times. I have panic attacks and agoraphobia, so sometimes he's the only reason I leave the house.
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
my kitties are very intuitive. they know when i need some support. they do not like each other really at all. however, if my guy is ever out of town, they will both sleep on the bed with me---they never do that any other time. i like to think it's because they care.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
My college dorm allowed you to have a small dog or cat for medical reasons; such as depression or anxiety.
aeschere aeschere 9 years
my cat is a little brat, but she does bring so much joy to my life :D
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I love my two kitties and can't wait to get a dog. :)
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
I would definitely say this is true. Apparently petting an animal for just 10 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure. I have a dog and a cat and they make me soo happy! My boyfriend and I get a lot more exercise now because we take our dog on really long walks. The other day we walked 3 miles! It definitely gets us outside more and whenever I am down the dog and the cat are there to cheer me up!
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
I love my dog so much and I DEFINITLEY know she makes me happy!!
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