Want to live longer? Get more pets

They make you laugh and smile, and sometimes drive you crazy, but did you know your pets also make you healthier?

Research from both the National Institute of Health  and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrate many wellness benefits of pet ownership, including:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Less feeling of loneliness and depression
  • Decreased risk of cardiac disease
  • Increased socialization

One study, funded by the NIH, found that dog owners who had heart attacks were significantly more likely to be alive one year later than non-pet owning patients. And research from the CDC shows cats can improve mood, provide emotional support and boost the overall morale of their owners. Cats are also credited with promoting socialization among physically or mentally disabled people and the elderly.