Pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Mr. Bean, pictured above, curiously searching through my kitchen cabinets agrees. While most pet owners understand the joy that comes from sharing their lives with a pet, most are still unaware of the many physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany having a furry friend around to play with.  Recent studies have begun to study the human pet connection and have found that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression.  People with pets typically have lower blood pressure.  Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which help to calm and relax. Studies also show that owning pets can lower tryglyceride and cholesterol levels, which are indicators of heart disease.  Heart attack patients typically survive longer with pets than without. Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent less visits to their doctors, and even watching fish in an aquarium helps reduce muscle tension and pulse rate.

Now...Still don't have a pet?  Maybe it's time you find the right pet for you.  Live long...and prosper!

Kelly Cordes