Did you know that kids who grow up around cats, dogs, and other household pets typically have stronger immune systems than those who don’t? This follows the same logic as getting your hands in the dirt. You develop a stronger immune response the more you are exposed to small doses of bacteria and other natural foreign matter.
In addition, studies show that people with pets tend to live longer on average than those without pets. Maybe it’s the unconditional love that pets shower upon you. Or maybe they just give more purpose and meaning to you life, as they are depending upon you for their care and well-being.
Obviously, some pets are more high-maintenance than others. You certainly don’t need to bring stress into your life if you are not prepared for the work required to produce all the benefits. If you are ready for some companionship but looking for minimal output, perhaps a more entry level pet like a fish or hermit crab would do the trick for you.
Of course if you’re just not quite ready for any of that yet, there are still quite a few pet rocks out there looking for good homes.