There is so much research showing that pets are good for people. Pet owners visit the doctor less, use the health care system less, suffer less from stress, have more social supports, experience less loneliness and are better able to cope with traumatic life changes.
A bibliography of articles and abstracts on the general health benefits of animals
Delta Society is the leading international resource for the human-animal bond. Delta Society has been the force to validate the important role of animals for people's health and well-being by promoting the results of research to the media and health and human services organizations.
National People and Pets Survey (1994) conducted by the Urban Animal Management Coalition
Helping with Physical Health Problems
Much research has demonstrated the Healthy Reasons to have a Pet
Fluffy and Fido are good for you. But you knew that already, didn't you?
Dogs, cats and social support moderate resting blood pressure in elderly women
A dog cues the physiological effects of relaxation in diagnosed hypertensives. We all know that patting a dog calms us, eh!
Having a pet provides protection against heart disease
Hypertension is moderated in people who own dogs
Dog owners make significantly less use of the healthcare system
Impact of Pets on Australian Health Budgets. Naturally, it's all good news!
A German study also demonstrated the health savings of pet ownership
Helping with Social Problems
Children's social development is assisted by the presence of pets in their lives
When asked about their best friends and those who were their nearest and dearest children rank their pets in the top ten
More evidence of the benefits of growing up with pets
German research has demonstrated that dogs help children at school. Children with dogs are better behaved, more motivated and do better
Dogs bring security to children coping with divorce. Their affection and loyalty are important to children at this vulnerable time in their lives
Dogs help children at school to become better behaved, more motivated and do better
A more recent English study showing that dogs help people make friends
Loneliness: A Health Hazard of Modern Times. Companion animals are a solution for many people, especially the aged.
There is a plethora of research on the benefits of companion animals for the elderly. This recent research shows loneliness in single, young women is also emeliorated by the companionship of an animal
Social interaction is assisted by pet ownership. It leads to more casual conversations with strangers
How pets help people
Dogs act a catalysts for social interaction for people of all ages
Current research on loneliness in women and the ways that animals can help
Helping with Psychological Problems
Children often prefer pets to adults when they need comfort
Pets enhance human wellbeing in many ways. They have a positive impact on child development - cognitive, psychological and social. Children brought up around animals have more self esteem and more empathy with others.
When children have had traumatic experiences pets can help them adjust better
The well-being of adolescents is enhanced by pet ownership
Companion animals are a positive influence on human development
Recent studies show that animals help people cope with a range of life transitions - e.g. caring for a cancer sufferer or military transfer. Children use pets as transitional objects - like special toys or blankets - that provide additional security and a link to the past that helps them cope with the present
Breast Cancer survivors are also helped if they have a dog around.
Autonomic responses to stress in women were moderated by the presence of pet dogs. The presence of human friends did not help. Dogs were perceived as a very calming influence even in a stressful situation
The Physical and Psychological health of older people are enhanced by pet ownership
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