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Smart pet trick: fluff and fido improve their owners' heart health.

So you want to be heart-healthy, but running marathons or limiting your diet to unadorned fish, fruits and veggies isn't your style. Good news: Your Plan B could be as close as the animal shelter.

Baylor College of Medicine research suggests that dog and cat owners reap a bevy of cardiovascular benefits. Those pet perks include increased physical activity (especially walking a dog), lower blood pressure and greater ability to shrug off stress (research shows that stroking a pet is calming), and improved survival after "acute coronary syndrome" (various life-threatening maladies such as heart attacks).

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If you can scratch up a kibble allowance, spare some recreational time, and have space--in your heart and home--for a pet, one may be just the ticket for your ticker.

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Title Annotation:START up
Author:Vinnedge, Mary
Publication:Success
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 28, 2013
Words:127
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