The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Cat and person

We already knew that having a pet improves our lives in so many ways, but now a new survey of family physicians shows that your doctor believes it too!

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) surveyed 1,000 general practitioners on their beliefs about the human health benefits of owning pets. 97% of doctors believe that there are definite health benefits that come from having a pet. A majority of doctors have actually recommended that a patient consider getting a pet, either to improve overall health or for a specific condition.

A large majority of the doctors reported seeing patients’ overall health and mood/outlook improve as a result of pet ownership. They also say that they would consider prescribing a pet for either overall health or a specific condition, if positive results were proven by medical research.

Dog and person

Experts note that pets can improve a variety of physical and mental conditions, from heart issues to depression to PTSD. Doctors who have had direct experience with animals in medicine, such as service dogs or animal-assisted therapy, overwhelmingly reported that they have seen these animals improve patients’ physical and mental health, their general mood and outlook, and even how they interact with medical staff.

For more on this study, check out the HABRI website HERE.