By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are many reasons to love your dog and here’s yet another. Sharing your life with your lovable four-legged companion can actually improve your health. Numerous studies amassed by medical professionals over the years have determined that there are vast benefits to your overall well being by having a dog in your life.

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels were found to be lower in dog owners. It’s been found that children who grow up with dogs and even cats have less respiratory infections during their first year of life than those who grow up without pets in their lives.

Studies have also proven that pets greatly aid in a patient’s recovery from illness and can induce an overall quicker recovery time. Research shows that living with a companion animal can even increase a person’s chance of survival following a life threatening illness.

The use of therapy dogs in recovery has proven highly successful. Just the act of petting a dog can greatly relax a patient and bring about therapeutic results. Petting a dog also helps to bring about better emotional health as well. And studies conducted at Cambridge and UCLA have shown that dog owners make overall fewer trips to the doctor’s office. We all know our dogs make us happy and it’s nice to know that they help to keep us healthy too.

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE