If you love animals, you most likely enjoy having a pet. Have fun watching a dog or kitten playing with toys, or just clinging to be petted. Adore listening to a bird singing or chattering. Relax watching fish swimming and playing in an aquarium, or your lizard crawling on the walls of the tank, hiding under a rock. Fascinated seeing a hedgehog or a hamster running on an exercise wheel.
But they also help you in other ways:
Live longer, reducing the risk of death by 24 % 
Survive a heart attack, reducing risk of death by 65% [2,4]
Decrease blood pressure and heart rate, better than some medications
Improve mental health, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, with increased feelings of stability, continuity, and meaning by giving us unconditional love and a welcomed distraction from the symptoms 
Stimulate memory and cognition [5,10]
Help us to be more social, find new friends, advance at work by feeling more empathetic and confident 
Assist in diagnosis and prevention of many serious disorders. Dogs have the ability to accurately detect malaria, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, and diabetes, as well as certain types of cancer, like lung, ovarian, breast, colorectal, and melanoma [7,8,9]
And of course they are our best friends! Can even improve our romantic relationships! 
So, if you’re considering adding a new furry, feathered, or scaly member to your family, keep in mind that pets are just plain good for your health. And if you already have a pet, remember this when you’re cleaning up their latest mess! 
For more information on a healthy lifestyle, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Koganski at 215-750-7000 or https://www.NewtownInternalMedicine.com
 Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Glenn N. Levine ,et al and on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing Originally published9 May 2013 https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0b013e31829201e1. Circulation. 2013;127:2353–2363
 Mwenya Mubanga , et al. Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event. A Register-Based Prospective Study Originally published 8 Oct 2019 https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.118.005342. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2019;12:e005342
 Knight S, Edwards V. In the company of wolves: the physical, social, and psychological benefits of dog ownership. J Aging Health. 2008; 20:437–455. doi: 10.1177/0898264308315875
 Parker GB, Gayed A, Owen CA, Hyett MP, Hilton TM, Heruc GA. Survival following an acute coronary syndrome: a pet theory put to the test. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2010; 121:65–70. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01410.x
 Allen, Karen PhD, et al. Cardiovascular Reactivity and the Presence of Pets, Friends, and Spouses: The Truth About Cats and Dogs. Psychosomatic Medicine: September-October 2002 - Volume 64 - Issue 5 - p 727-739
 Müllersdorf M, et al. Aspects of health, physical/leisure activities, work and socio-demographics associated with pet ownership in Sweden. Scand J Public Health. 2010; 38:53–63. doi: 10.1177/140349480934435
 Heather Junqueira, et al. Accuracy of Canine Scent Detection of Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer in Blood Serum. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, July 2019, Vol. 119, 413-418. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2019.077
 McCulloch M, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of canine scent detection in early- and late-stage lung and breast cancers. Integrative cancer therapies. 2006, 5: 30-39. 10.1177/1534735405285096.
 Pickel DP, et al. Evidence for canine olfactory detection of melanoma. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2004, 89: 107-109. 10.1016/j.applanim.2004.04.008.
 Helen Louise Brooks, et al. The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence . BMC Psychiatry volume 18, Article number: 31 (2018)
 Anika Cloutier & Johanna Peetz . Relationships’ Best Friend: Links between Pet Ownership, Empathy, and Romantic Relationship Outcomes. Anthrozoös . A multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals Volume 29, 2016 Pages 395-408. Published online: 17 Aug 2016. https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2016.1181361
 Liz Meszaros. 5 ways you didn’t know your pet was keeping you healthy. MDLinx | October 10, 2019