Benefits of the human animal bond

The results of a September 2016 research study demonstrate how understanding the bond between humans and animals has a positive effect on the way people care for their pets. Sponsored by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation, the study asked participants if they were aware of the scientific research on the bond between people and their pets. It also asked if they knew that pet owners enjoy better health than people without pets. Those who answered these questions affirmatively showed characteristics of being loving, responsible pet owners by doing the following:

  • Keeping up with preventive medicine and vaccines
  • Scheduling routine preventive care exams for their pet
  • Providing food with high nutrition quality
  • Purchasing pet insurance
  • Less likely than other pet owners to skip veterinary visits
  • Committed to caring for their pet through old age

More than half of survey participants responded favorably to the above categories, with most categories showing an 80 to 90 percent positive response.

How Does Having a Pet Improve Human Health?

People who have at least one pet report less feelings of loneliness and depression than those living in non-pet households. A healthy emotional state lowers the risk of several physical conditions, including heart disease. Having a dog gets people out of the house for exercise and allows them to meet others who are naturally drawn to their pet. Dogs and cats can be especially beneficial for those with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. People with these conditions start to do better as they turn their focus outward to care for their pet.

We Understand the Human Animal Bond

Another interesting finding from the AAHA and HABRI study is that 97 percent of people already have a favorable view of their veterinarian. Almost two-thirds of the 2,000 survey participants reported they would have an even better impression of their veterinarian if he or she discussed the important health benefits of the human animal bond. They would visit their veterinarian even more often if he or she discussed this.At Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarians, technicians, and the rest of our staff know just how deep the love between people and pets can be. We encourage that bond by providing you with the information you need to take the best possible care of your pet. Whether you have a routine question or an emergency, you can depend on us to provide high-quality veterinary care. We look forward to caring for your pet and providing counsel so you can continue to enjoy the bond you share for years to come.

Photo Credit: Silberkorn / Getty Images

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