Top 5 Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

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by: Sarah Grace McCandless
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One of the fringe benefits of taking on the responsibility of pet ownership is that animals can be an instant icebreaker, whether they're with you or you're just using them as a topic of conversation. Of course, few people would suggest getting a pet solely for this purpose, but it's hard to overlook the fact that pets provide a great means for improving your socialization skills across the board, especially in terms of meeting and interacting with other pet owners. Though people sometimes may have a hard time getting to know each other, pets can be the common denominator that helps them connect -- even among people who don't seem to be very much alike.

Places to Mix and Mingle with your Pet

Training classes: Many instructors offer group classes such as puppy kindergarten, where you'll find others trying to master the same pet parenting skills.

Dog parks: A great opportunity for both you and your dog to play and interact with other dogs and owners alike. Just be sure your dog is properly socialized and up to date on all shots before introducing it into the mix.

Outdoor cafes: Many restaurants with outdoor seating options are also pet-friendly, and some even offer dog-specific items on the menu as well.

Online: Dogster.com, Catster.com and Petpop.com are just a few examples of popular pet-focused social networking sites that provide an instant, fun way to trade tips, trends and more.

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