Health advantages and disadvantages of owning a pet
Several studies have found that owning a pet has benefits for the individual, including mental health outcomes such as decreased anxiety, and physical health outcomes, such as an improved immune response (Saunders et al., 2017), however other studies have documented negative effects of pets, such as dog bites.
According to a paper written by Saunders et al. (2017), in terms of health differences between owners and non-owners, pet owners were more likely to have asthma, and dog owners were more likely to have a higher BMI.
Saunders et al. (2017). Exploring the differences between people with and without pets: implications for research and policy. PLoS ONE (2017) 12, e0179494, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179494.