We’ve all experienced moments where our pet has been more than a pet. There’s a reason dogs are known as man’s best friend. Today over 60 percent of Americans have pets—77 million dogs, 93 million cats, and many other creatures are part of the $45 billion dollar pet industry. You can’t put a price on the happiness a pet provides, according to a new recently published study. In trials conducted studying pets within the family, psychologists found that they were viewed as family members, and that pet owners were reaping the same multiple beauty benefits that sleep, healthy eating, and exercise can offer. While anthropomorphizing your pet can decrease your benefits, overall, owning a pet is a net positive. It allows its owner to live a healthy lifestyle and helps him or her to open up to deeper, more meaningful relationships. So give your pooch an extra pat today, and if you’ve been debating a visit to pet store, get up and go!

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