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Psychologist Dr. Megan Mueller did a side-by-side comparison of the daily activities of pet parents, and people without pets. The result: Animal lovers spent more time volunteering. They were also more likely to do favors for friends and family, and encourage others to lend a helping hand. In other words, caring for pets make us care more about humans. Dr. Mueller suspects the compassion and patience needed for taking care of our pets transfer directly into our relationships with people.