The Power of Pets

“The Power of Pets” by Laura Beil, Geocities/Petsburgh Zoo

“Pet owners keep dogs and cats for companionship, affection and entertainment. Research is also suggesting that puppy love may help keep a person out of the doctor’s office. Companion animals are associated with lower stress, fewer doctors’ visits and even better survival after a heart attack. An animal may help stroke victims build strength and psychiatric patients quell anxiety.


In 1990, Judith Siegel from the University of California, Los Angeles, reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that elderly people who owned a pet needed fewer doctor visits. Her examination of almost 1,000 Medicare recipients took into account a person’s living conditions, underlying chronic disease, education and other factors known to influence health. She found that people without pets average 9.49 visits to the doctor in one year, while pets owners had only 8.42 visits during the year studied.”

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