It might be the prescription of the future: Take two aspirin and get a pet immediately.
Numerous studies have shown that pets — or at least the presence of animals — can have medical benefits that are beyond dispute. These range from lowering blood pressure to lessening anxiety and depression and even to faster healing times after surgery.
Fido is no placebo - he can literally be man's best friend when people are ailing. "We have known for many years that the company of a pet can be of benefit in a variety of ways, but exactly why this is, no one seems to have the answer," says Dr. Bonnie Beaver, who specializes in animal behavior and human-animal relationships at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
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