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How Pets Can Help Your Family Stay Healthier

Child with puppy  

When your child pleads and whines for something, chances are it won’t be good for him. But that adorable little puppy or kitten he’s been begging for could be good for everyone’s health.

Owning a dog, for example, is the perfect motivation to get the whole family outside for exercise. And even indoor pets can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. A UCLA study released last fall surveyed 76 heart-failure patients and found that those who were visited by a volunteer with a dog saw a greater drop in anxiety and stress-producing hormones (24 percent) than those who were visited by only a human volunteer.

And puppy makes three . . .

If you’re interested in adding a pet to your family, here are some resources with information on how to make the best match for your household:

  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) - (212) 876-7700 or www.aspca.org
     
  • The Humane Society of the United States -
    (202) 452-1100, 1-866-720-2676 or www.humanesociety.org

  • Dog Scouts of America - (989) 389-2000 or www.dogscouts.com

There are also several local resources, including:

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