Living with Pets - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Friday, March 28, 2003

Living with Pets

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When it comes to Pets, especially dogs like Patrick here, you really can't beat them, and we know that if you have a pet you live longer than someone who doesn't. The reasons are fairly clear, but a recent study from the State University of New York, my alma mater, sheds more light on it.

It has to do with pets: specifically dogs. They looked at 240 people, half who had dogs, the other half who didn't and they studied them physiologically. You know what they found?

What the researchers did was to take the test subjects and subject them to math problems, fairly complicated ones, and also putting their hands in cold water - therefore increasing their physiological response and then measure blood pressure and also heart rate. Now this is what they found.

The couples who had pets like Patrick here did better in terms of their physiology: their blood pressure went down quicker, their heart rate went down quicker, and they also did better on the math problems. When it came to other influences in the room, such as acquaintances and friends, no improvement was noted. So that meant that dogs were good for you in terms of your physiology and thinking, but friends weren't.

So the bottom line? When it comes to your health think of four-legged, fuzzy creatures like these animals here, because it will make your life a happy one and a long one.

And I'm Dr David Vastola, and that's life.

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