Is having a pet good for you? The fuzzy science of pet possession

A picture of a bull terrier on a park bench

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For greater than a decade, in weblog posts and scientific papers and public talks, the psychologist Hal Herzog has questioned whether or not proudly owning pets makes folks happier and more healthy.

It’s a lonely quest, convincing those that puppies and kittens might not really be terrific for his or her bodily and psychological well being. “Once I speak to folks about this,” Herzog just lately mentioned, “no person believes me.” A distinguished professor at a serious public college as soon as described him as “an excellent curmudgeon” who’s, in impact, “attempting to show that apple pie causes most cancers.”

As a youngster in New Jersey within the 1960s, Herzog stored canines and cats, in addition to an iguana, a duck, and a boa constrictor named Boa. Now a professor emeritus at Western Carolina College, he insists he’s not out to smear anybody’s furry buddies. In a weblog put up questioning the so-called pet impact, in 2012, Herzog included a photograph of his cat, Tilly. “She makes my life higher,” he wrote. “Please Don’t Blame The Messenger!”

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