Getting a pet will not only make you happier -- it will also make you healthier. According to medical experts, regular interaction with a pet can lower blood pressure, reduce your heart rate, boost your mood and improve your social skills. A study at City Hospital New York showed that pet owners have a better chance of survival after a heart attack than non-pet owners [source: Happiness]. The chances for survival are higher from owning a pet than from having a spouse or friends around.
Dogs and cats offer the largest benefits, but even fish can help you battle stress and relieve loneliness. Pets can improve your relationships with the humans around you by teaching you a few things about nonverbal communication. Pets are so effective at reducing stress thatanimal-assisted therapy has been used to treat psychotic patients in cases where not even medication seemed to be working.
Want some good karma to bring you even more happiness? Adopt a pet from a shelter instead of buying one.