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The Healing Power of Pets

Pet ownership can help maintain lower blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.

Taking care of a loved one includes taking care of your pet. But here's something more to chew on: our pets take care of us in return.

In fact, the man-and-his-dog bond can improve pet owners' physical and mental health. Pet ownership can have specific healing effects, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. One study, from the University of New England in Australia, found that cat owners had fewer psychiatric disturbances than those without feline friends. And research conducted at the University of New York at Buffalo found that hypertensive stockbrokers improved dramatically after owning a pet for six months.