So, for those of you who struggle with health problems, I may have the answer for you! Joanna sent me this article which proves the benefit of animals!
I found that having an animal (in my case, it was a fish) really helped me a ton when I was feeling somewhat depressed in college. (This wasn't by any means a clinical depression, but I was definitely more down than up.) Getting a fish for me meant giving me something to take care of, something was depending on me for food and care. Getting a fish REALLY pulled me out of my dark mood. It's funny how it was just a fish, yet was all that.
Researchers say that owning a dog can lower your blood pressure. Think what this means. A hug to Rover may soothe your cardiovascular system more than a fistful of ACE inhibitors. A simple snuggle with Spot? Bring on the endorphins and sayonara to stress hormones.
Imagine if dogs found their way into the pharmaceutical marketplace. You might browse the PDR (Physicians Drug Reference) and see Canis familiaris under the generic listing for Prozac, as pooches, too, fight depression. Airlines might suggest passengers pack their pups in their carry-on luggage instead of sending them through as baggage.
And DON'T get me started on cats... ;-)
See, aren't animals better than the traditional retail-therapy? Just getting a new car or a tv mount for my flatscreen TV or the latest wardrobe wouldn't do anything of these things. Yay for pets!