Non-furry pets can also boost your health
While most of the studies about health and pet ownership involve cats and dogs, non-furry animals may be good for you as well. Dr. Finkelston notes that owning fish can be meditative and relaxing, and has been shown to calm Alzheimer’s patients.
“If you have something to care for -- a snake, fish, birds -- this act can help you take your mind off yourself, be compassionate, and empathize,” she says.
One small study even suggests that robotic animals -- like the AIBO -- can be helpful, though, let’s be real, a robot dog doesn’t come close to the real thing.
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Jess Novak will cross the street to pet your dog. Check out the pictures she posts of other people’s pets on Twitter @jesstothenovak and Instagram @jtothenovak.