There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. However, pets can sometimes carry harmful germs that can make us sick even when the pet appears healthy. The diseases people get from animals are called zoonotic (zoe-oh-NOT-ic) diseases. Here are some tips to help you and your family stay healthy while enjoying pets.