Study: Pets make you healthier and happier

Pets are playful and fun, but did you know they can also make you healthier and happier?

Research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and feelings of loneliness.

Pets can also improve your health by pushing you outside for exercise and other activities.

They can increase your opportunities for socialization and help you make new friends, too, especially if your pet is a dog.

One study, funded by the National Institute of Health, found that dog owners who'd had heart attacks were significantly more likely to be alive one year later.

Dogs can even influence emotional and cognitive development in children.

Not a dog person? Cats make great companions, too.

Research by the CDC shows they can improve mood, provide emotional support and boost the overall morale of their owners.

Cats are credited with promoting socialization among physically or mentally disabled people and the elderly.

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