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.