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Whether it’s a dog, a cat or even a hamster, here are the ways a pet can improve your health: Your pet will help you protect your heart. Dog or cat owners have lower cholesterol levels. That’s because interacting with your animal fights daily stress and protects against heart disease. Also, people with pets make fewer trips to the doctor than non-pet owners, and pets also help to lower your blood pressure. So do yourself a favor, add a furry family member to your household.