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A Speedy Recovery

In addition to reducing stress and therefore helping people avoid high blood pressure, pets can also aid recovery from illness. Research indicates that owning a pet can improve a person's chances of survival after a life-threatening illness such as a heart attack. Pet owners were also found to use the medical services considerably less frequently than non-pet owners.

A recent UK study looked at women between 50-60 years of age recovering form breast cancer. 87 per cent of the women reported that their pets filled at least one important role in their social support while 43 per cent reported that that their pets fulfilled more than 10 important support functions - being cared for, tactile comfort, an outlet for expression of feelings and still feeling included socially - e.g. when taking the dog for a walk.