University of Queensland psychologist Maggie O'Haire has found that having pets may reduce the overall risk of an individual developing heart disease and will also reduce high blood pressure.
''Research shows pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, are less depressed and have lower risk of heart disease. They feel less lonely than non-pet owners and actually find it easer to get to know people,'' O'Haire told the Courier Mail, adding that billions of dollars could be saved by pet ownership.
Owning pets will bring a sense of contentedness to the community and the various ways of non-verbal communication could even help autistic children learn different things.
"What's interesting to note about such interventions is the little amount of research that has actually been done to understand the benefits," O'Haire concluded.