For reasons unknown, studies have shown that those who own pets also have less cholesterol in their blood stream. No one is sure why this happens because it does cut across the lines of those who lead healthy lifestyles.
Interestingly enough, studies show that pets actually reduce the chances for contracting allergies. People that grow up on farms and are surrounded by animals are far less likely to contract allergies and generally have stronger immune systems.
Perhaps the greatest benefit from owning a pet is that they are a natural stress reliever. The emotional release that a pet can provide helps in terms of reducing stress which means a healthier heart, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of stroke. Playing with your pet for just a few minutes a day can bring about considerable stress relief.