Photo: Liz Von Hoene

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Pet...A Pet—Any Pet!
It's fun, it's good for you and it's easy to do. But don't take our word for it.

Hi there. How's it going? Well, guess what—it could be going even better! Did you know that petting us and talking to us and feeding us treats (by the way, do you have any treats?) is really good for you? For your body, your mind, your soul—all of it! It's scientific fact. Research has found that pet owners—though we prefer the term human roommates—often have greater self-esteem, are more physically fit and tend to be less preoccupied and anxious than their petless counterparts. But if you happen to be petless, no worries: Just hanging out with us will also do the trick. We're the adorable, slobbering equivalent of meditating or eating an apple a day. (Actually, do you have an apple? Because we'd also take an apple.) You want to know the best part? We're everywhere! Maybe you know a pet owner, or maybe you leave your house occasionally—because that's really all it takes to come across one of us inspecting a fire hydrant or snoozing in the grass or grazing in a pasture on a rural road. (Plus there's always petting zoos, or, as we call them, green pellet buffets.) And when you happen upon us, we hope you'll stop and scratch our chins for a few. In part because we really enjoy it, especially if treats are involved (seriously, do you have any?), but also because it'll do you more good than you realize. So don't be a stranger! We won't bite.

Domestic Animals the World Over