Do you have a dog? A cat? Both? One of each? Well we know having one can cost you a lot over the years.

Have you thought about the rewards though? Having a fury friend at home does really improve your life.

Having a pet relieves stress. Studies have shown this. Just petting your dog or cat can lower your blood pressure and relieves that stress. That is really important as we get older. So when you get home from work spend a few more minutes relieving that stress. Your dog or cat will thank you for it too.

Pets also help us become more social. Dog owners are five times more likely to know their neighbor. It's easy to go up to someone at the dog park with a pet. You can make new friends all the time.

Having a dog is also good for your heart. Dog owners walk a lot more that people who don't have one. Walking is good for your cardiovascular system. A recent study also found that any type of pet can also help if you have already had a heart attack.

Pets also help us to raise happier and healthier children. If you grew up with a pet in your household you will tend to have less anxiety. You may find you have a higher self-esteem and even better social skills. If you grew up with a dog you could also thank them for having a stronger immune system and fewer allergies.

So when you are weighing the pros and cons of adding a pet to your family. Don't only consider the cost. Think about the health benefits too.