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The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets

Ancient Egypt; hunting dogs of the greyhound or saluki type accompany their master to the chase, and lap dogs frequently sit under the chair of their master or mistress. Certain species of houseplants can also prove toxic if consumed by pets. Examples include philodendrons and Easter lilies and poinsettias, begonia, and aloe vera . A 2007 survey by the University of Bristol found that 26% of UK households owned cats and 31% owned dogs, estimating total domestic populations of approximately 10.3 million cats and 10.5 million dogs in 2006. The survey also found that 47.2% of households with a cat had at least one person educated to degree level, compared with 38.4% of homes with dogs. A pet, or companion animal, is an animal kept primarily for a person’s company or entertainment rather than as a working animal, livestock, or a laboratory animal.

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