Pet Smarts: 8 Reasons Having a Dog or Cat Is Good for Your Health

By Emily G.W. Chau

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Photo by Mary Heath Swanson

They Teach Your Kids to Be Nicer People

Boys and girls who live with pets are more empathetic and social than kids who don't, according to a Croatian study. And allowing boys to take responsibility for feeding, walking, and grooming a dog lets them practice nurturing skills that girls typically develop while playing house, explains sociologist Clinton R. Sanders, PhD, author of Understanding Dogs: Living and Working with Canine Companions.

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