Are you tired of feeling lonely? Do you want to feel better about yourself - physically and mentally? It sounds like these could be the opening lines for a dating website, but they aren't. According to a study conducted by psychologists at Ohio's Miami University, if you want to answer "Yes!" to both of these questions, you need to have one of these.

Ohio's Miami University psychologists have found that owning a pet can actually make you feel happier, can make you healthier and better adjusted to the world around you. Focusing on the impact of owning a pet and the psychological health and physical fitness of the owner, the study's author Allen R. McConnell, Ph.D, said that it is a proven fact. Pet owners have greater self-esteem, are more physically fit and tend to be less lonely. McConnell's study also proved that pet owners tend to be less fearful and are less preoccupied with others than those with no pets.

Further research published by the American Psychological Association also found that even though many pet owners may appear to be closer to their pets rather than other people, those pets do not replace the important relationships with others. Pets can, however, help their owners become less stressed, which could lead to better relationships with other "humans".

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