10 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

They're cute, they're cuddly--and they're also good for your health! (11 Photos)

Marissa Capodanno on Jan 18, 2011 at 5:44PM

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10 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

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They Keep Us Out of the Doctor's Office

In her book Family Matters: An Introduction to Family Sociology in Canada, author and sociologist Barbara A. Mitchell says that many people -- particularly the elderly -- make needless visits to health facilities out of loneliness and because they have no one else to bounce their health concerns off of. Those with dogs or cats, or who are in regular contact with a visiting animal, she says, are less likely to turn to the doctor unnecessarily. Perhaps the least expected benefit of owning a pet: Lower healthcare costs!

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