National Pet Day is 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 animal companion! So hug your hedgehog, bond with your bunny, and cut your kitty some catnip! That critter makes you happy — and that’s not all. Over the past 10 years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 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.