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Owning a furry companion can have many positive effects on your life. Not only do you get to live with a friend, but there are also some hidden benefits to keeping a pet in your home.

HAVING A PET CAN IMPROVE YOUR MOOD: Owning a pet can help reduce stress. According to studies, spending time with your pet can trigger an increased level of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” This is responsible for the feeling of closeness and increased bonding with your pet.

IT CAN ALSO INCREASE YOUR OVERALL MOOD: Pets can also improve your social life. Dogs are naturally curious about their environment, including other dogs and people, and they can be the catalyst for social interactions. If you own a dog, you might find strangers approaching you to ask about them. But other pets like cats can increase your social circle as well. According to a 2015 study conducted in Australia and the US, pet owners were significantly more likely to get to know people in their neighborhood than those who did not own a pet.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LOVE, A PET CAN HELP WITH THAT: Pets can be a great way to increase your chances of finding love. According to a survey by Purina, 54 percent of surveyed pet owners said their pets helped them start a conversation with someone they were interested in. Nearly two thirds of people said they were likely to date someone who owned a pet, and one in three would want to meet someone who has pictures of their pet in their online dating profile.

HAVING A PET NEARBY, ESPECIALLY A DOG, CAN MAKE YOU FEEL MORE SECURE: Large dog breeds like German shepherds and Rottweilers make for great deterrents from outside threats, allowing their owners to feel safer.

PETS CAN MAKE YOU MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE: taking your dog for a walk also makes you more physically fit and increases the chance you’re going to get your daily exercise.

Matthew Wilson

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