The health benefits of owning a pet.
They're always pleased to see you and who doesn't love a cuddle with their four-legged friend, so maybe it's no surprise to hear the numerous health benefits of owning a pet.
There's the cardiovascular and lowered blood pressure benefits that come in part from the increased exercise, but simply stroking a pet has can have health benefits too.
A recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that dogs can help strengthen immune systems of children against allergies and asthma if they are exposed to them, as well as barnyard animals, within the first three months of life.
It all comes down to a more diverse biome - a naturally occurring community of flora and fauna, according to Dr Jack Gilbert, Director of the Microbiome Centre at the University of Chicago.
Dogs especially can add 'good' bacteria and microbes inside homes because they play outdoors more frequently than other pets.
The 'cuddle hormone' oxytocin is also released into the brain when we spend time with our dogs. Scientist and author Meg Olmert says a cuddle with your pup triggers oxytocin release, helping you to bond with your pet and alleviate stress.
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