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Can having a pet make me happy?

If you can handle the responsibilities of owning a pet, you're on a proven track for better health and happiness. Caring for a pet gives owners an improved sense of self-worth and reduces stress hormones. Plus, a pet that needs exercise, like a dog or a horse, draws an owner into exercising too. 

Having a pet can be an extremely rewarding experience. Studies have shown that having pets can reduce stress and even reduce ones chances of dying from heart disease. A study done by the Stroke Institute of Minnesota followed cat owners for 10 years, and found that they were 30% less likely to suffer from a heart attack. According to Psychologists, Motooka et al., when seniors citizens take dogs for a walk, neural activity increased in turn lowering stress levels, compared to just walking alone. There is something to be said about the unconditional love that pets give us. In turn taking care of, and providing for an animal is a very rewarding experience, and helps us to live long and healthier lives.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.