Researchers reviewed studies that looked at cardiovascular risk markers and people who owned pets. What they found was that compared with non-pet owners, those with pets had lower blood pressure as well lower levels of cholesterol.
In addition, pet owners were better able to deal with stress. In particular, those who owned dogs had less obesity and higher levels of physical activity. The latter makes sense since dogs need to be walked every day, which, of course, fosters more exercise and weight stabilization.
I would also like to add one more thing, which this study did not examine. Pets can bring us more joy and even laughter in our life. I know. I have had several dogs throughout my life including a beautiful light-colored golden retriever named Joshua; we called him Josh.
One day, I was watching a tennis match on television. Josh, who loves to play with tennis balls, was watching with me. His head moved back and forth as he followed the ball going from one side of the screen to the other.
Suddenly the ball went out of camera range and disappeared. Josh got up, went behind television set, and searched for the missing tennis ball.