We got Madison, our blond cocker spaniel four years ago. And then a year later, with zero planning we rescued Bella, our jet black cocker spaniel. Since then they've without a doubt ruled our world. We bought a bed big enough so they could sleep in it and whenever possible they come along on trips. I can't imagine life without them.

That's a good thing because it turns out pet ownership could be good for your overall health, according to a new study. Pets serve as support and provide unconditional love that we grow to depend on but at the same time, they don't disrupt other human relationships.

According to Live Science and seen on MNN:

"We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than nonowners on several dimensions," study researcher Allen McConnell, of Miami University in Ohio, said in a statement. "Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than nonowners."

The study was conducted by asking 217 pet owners and non-pet owners specific questions to find out the difference in well being. Research showed that pet owners tended to be happier.

According to the CDC, pet ownership can also make you healthier:

"Pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, [and] feelings of loneliness."

"Pets can increase your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities [as well as] opportunities for socialization."

It's a win-win. If you're considering pet ownership, adopt a pet in need and follow this guide to responsible pet ownership.

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