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Pets and Couples: How Does Your Furbaby Affect Your Relationship?

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Most people who’ve added a furry friend as their plus-one can vouch that they love sharing a pet together and their pet adds happiness to their relationship. Don’t believe them? A study of 240 couples by the University at Buffalo found that those who take care of cats or dogs “have closer relationships, are more satisfied in marriage, and respond better to stress than couples who do not.”

Pet-owning couples had overall lower baseline blood pressure and were able to more quickly lower their blood pressure in stressful situations than petless couples. The study also found that couples with pets socialized more in general -- including with each other (which other research has shown aids heart health). "We don't know specifically why this is so,” said research scientist Karen Allen, the author of the study. “Pet owners may be the kind of people who inherently seek out more social contact. On the other hand, there may be something in the relationship between people and pets that enhances social interaction.”

Nesties, what do you think? Has your furbaby improved your family’s nest?

-- Colleen Canney

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