How Do I Give My Mental Health an Appreciable Boost?

Get a dog! You already know that you’ll meet more people — at the dog park and socializing on dog-friendly patios — but a pup can help you engage meaningfully with those people, too. Caring for an animal cultivates empathy, making you more emotionally attuned, even when the conversation topic has nothing to do with Fido’s pedigree.

As an added bonus, a study by the science folks at the University of Maryland recently concluded that there are lifelong benefits to dog ownership: for those a bit older and with a little extra weight on them, a dog helped to reduce their risk of heart disease.