Although this won’t come as a surprise to anyone who owns a pet, scientists and other people who often study the obvious and get grant money for doing so may be shocked to learn that owning a pet can increase your happiness and health. Just having a living creature to care for can make someone feel better about themselves, and then the unconditional love your pet gives you can boost your self-esteem.

Even more surprising is that the presence of a pet can lower your stress and actually improve your physical health. So if your health insurance company really cared about you, they would subsidize your pet expenses and encourage everyone to get a pet of some kind.

To learn more about why pets make you happy, click here.