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Updated: 4/17/2007 1:08 pm
You work out, you eat right, you get plenty of sleep. What else can you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle? How about getting a pet? Studies have shown that the strong emotional bonds that form between pets and their owners can relieve depression, lower blood pressure, and may promote cardiac health. Pets also play an important role in children's development. The emotions a child feels when hugging, stroking, or petting an animal can translate into the way it deals with other people later in life. Here are a few more pet facts: More than half the households in the U.S. have one or more animal companions. Cats have recently overtaken dogs as the most popular pet. Fifty-seven percent of cats and thirty-two percent of dogs sleep on the bed with their owners. About half our pets are named after humans; one-fourth are named after some attribute, like Fluffy or Frisky. Finally, Americans spend about three-and-a-half billion dollars each year on pet food and supplies each year. Most pet owners would agree that it's worth it.
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