10 Ways Pets Make You Healthier Animals can guard against asthma, allergies, and more By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Jul 15, 2012 1:53 PM CDT 6 comments Comments This little fella can help you stay healthy, studies say. (Flickr) (Newser) – It's not all bad news when it comes to pets and their effect on your health: A recent study found that babies who live with pets may be healthier, and other studies have shown similar benefits to pet ownership. The Huffington Post rounds up nine more: Asthma: Sure, no one likes a dusty house, but the dust that resides in the homes of dog owners may actually protect against respiratory syncytial virus, which increases the risk of asthma. Self-esteem: Pet owners also feel less lonely and less fearful, are generally more extroverted, and have higher self-esteem. Blood pressure: If you are feeling stressed, having a pet can help to stabilize your blood pressure. Allergies: Children who live with animals during infancy are less likely to develop allergies later in life. Click for the full list, which includes two ways pets can help your heart.