Pet owners know all about the affection and joy that pets can bring. Now the American Heart Association says having a pet might also lower a person’s risk of heart disease.

Pets present people with a reason to walk or run. They can have a positive effect on the body’s reaction to stress. Or it might be the case that healthier people are the ones who tend to have pets.

But before you dog-less, cat-less families decide to adopt, consider a report published in the Journal of Women’s Health on the same day the AHA report was published. It finds that insomnia and other sleep disturbances may increase the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.

A cat that likes to crawl under the covers in the middle of the night or a dog with a small bladder might be a mixed blessing for such women.

A case for not getting a pet?

No. Rather, it’s a case for giving pets the training they need to be the loving, health-improving animals they want to be.

Or for getting a goldfish.