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Ask any pet owner and they can tell you all the ways their pet has improved their life better — but there are many ways a pet can actually improve your health in ways you would never expect!

1. Pets Actually PREVENT Allergies & Asthma in Children

It’s amazing, but true: growing up with furred animals in your home actually decreases the chances of developing allergies and asthma. Research continues to prove this fact:

“If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies — 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system activation,” says researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Research shows that infants at risk for developing asthma were much less likely to do so if they were raised in a home with cats, unless their mother had a cat allergy, then they were far more likely.

So if your family is prone to allergies, having Fido in the house with your kids might not be as bad an idea as you thought!

2. Pets Reduce Stress & Depression

Research shows that individuals suffering from AIDs who had pets were less likely to suffer from depression than those with out.

It also shows that individuals with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog saw lower blood pressure in subsequent stressful situations! In only 15 minutes with your furry pet your body undergoes physical changes that dramatically reduce stress and improve your mood!

Playing with pets helps to increase your levels of serotonin and dopamine, which improve your mood, and can help to reduce levels of harmful chemicals that are increased when your stressed, like cortisol and norepinephrine, which can increase your chances for illness.

3. Pets Are Good For Your Heart

Individuals who suffered from heart attacks with pets lived longer than those with out pets. Men with pets have a lower risk of heart disease and people with cats over their lifetime actually have a 40% lower risk of dying of a heart attack. Pets have also been shown to help decrease hypertension, cholesterol and blood pressure!

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