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Puppy love: Why it’s so good for you

Ask many people what their favorite creature comfort is, and they will tell you it’s warm and furry. That’s not surprising. After all, animals are special. They offer warmth, security and unconditional love. But did you know that four-legged friends not only make you feel good, they’re actually good for you?

A special bond

The simple act of petting an animal—whether it be a cat, a dog or another pet—can relax your mind and body. Research shows that pet owners tend to have lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels than non-pet owners, putting them at reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.

What’s more, having a cuddly companion may boost a person’s survival rate following a heart attack. A study documented in the American Journal of Cardiology found that dog owners in particular were significantly less likely to die within one year of a cardiac event, compared with heart-attack survivors who did not own dogs.

In response, some insurance companies have even begun offering lower insurance rates to pet owners!

Social coordinator, therapist, friend for life

Besides helping you maintain your physical health, pets soothe your mood, engage your mind and lift your spirits.

Studies show that seniors who share their days with an animal companion are less likely to be depressed, enjoy a larger social circle and are more active than those who do not have pets.

If you are ready to open your heart and home to a furry friend, visit your local animal shelter—you may find that a pet who needs you is just what the doctor ordered.