Animals and Your Health: The Benefits of Pet Ownership
Benefits in Older Adults
The Heart Health Benefits of Pets
Mental Health Benefits
- Had greater self esteem
- Were more physically fit
- Were less lonely
- Were more conscientious
- Were more extroverted
- Were less fearful
- Were less preoccupied
Children and Pets
Why We Benefit From the Company of Animals
- Increased opportunities for exercise, especially if you own a dog
- Have something to care for and a source of consistency
- Security and comfort
- Opportunities to socialize with other pet owners
- An improved sense of well-being
Is a Pet Right For You?
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals http://www.aspca.org/
American Veterinary Medical Association http://www.avma.org/
Animal Alliance of Canada http://www.animalalliance.ca/
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association http://canadianveterinarians.net/
Pet ownership and children's immune function. Anthrozoology.org website. Available at: http://www.anthrozoology.org/pet%5Fownership%5Fand%5Fchildrens%5Fimmune%5Ffunction. Accessed September 6, 2012.
Allen K, Blascovich J, Mendes W. Cardiovascular reactivity and the presence of pets, friends, and spouses: the truth about cats and dogs. Psychosom Med. 2002;64:727-739.
Pets and children. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts%5Ffor%5Ffamilies/pets%5Fand%5Fchildren. Published May 2008. Accessed September 6, 2012.
Allen K, Shykoff B, Izzo J. Pet ownership, but not ACE inhibitor therapy, blunts home blood pressure responses to mental stress. Hypertension. 2001;38:815-820.
Friedmann E, Thomas S. Pet ownership, social support, and one-year survival after acute myocardial infarction in the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST). Am J Cardiol. 1995;76:1213-1217.
McConnell A, Brown C, et al. Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011 Dec; 101(6):1239-52.
Raina P, Waltner-Toews D, Bonnett B, et al. Influence of companion animals on the physical and psychological health of older people: an analysis of a one-year longitudinal study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999;47:323-329.
The truth about cats and dogs: Pets are good for mental health of 'everyday people." American Psychological Association website. Available at: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/07/cats-dogs.aspxPublished July 11, 2011. Accessed September 6, 2012.
What are the health benefits of pet ownership: RSPCA website. Available at: http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-are-the-health-benefits-of-pet-ownership%5F408.html. Accessed September 6, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian P. Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 09/06/2012 -