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is Sunday, April 11, although if you’re a pet owner, you know there’s not a day that goes by that you don’t celebrate your companion! 

But this weekend, there is no better excuse to cuddle with your kitty, pamper your pooch, hug your hedgehog or bond with your bunny.

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And our critters don’t just make us happy. Over the past 10 years, the National Institutes of Health has been a partner in research to determine the physical and mental benefits of having a pet. It turns out that not only can pets steal our hearts, but they also contribute to overall cardiovascular health by lowering cortisol, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

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