But they also do us good (when they aren’t gnawing on our shoes, that is). Over the last 20 years, research on human-animal interactions has emerged, proving that people who have pets are happier and healthier. They visit the doctor less often, have more fun, and feel more secure than people who don’t have pets.
Why? Despite how many gadgets we own, humans are animals—and the need to be around other animals is a fundamental part of being human, according to Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Animal-Human Bond at Purdue University. Here are the many healthy roles pets play in our lives.
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