A recent survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute has found that there are human health benefits to owning a pet. The survey interviewed 1,000 family doctors and general practitioners.
Ninety-five percent of those surveyed either own or have owned a pet, and 69% have worked in a facility that used pets to assist patient treatment or therapy. Ninety-seven percent said they believe there are health benefits to owning a pet. In addition:
- 75% of those surveyed said they've seen a patient's overall health or a specific medical condition get moderately or significantly better after the patient adopted a pet.
- 87% said they've seen a patient's mood or outlook improve as a result of owning a pet.
- 84% said they talk to patients about their pets.
- 60% have recommended that a patient get a pet.
- 82% said that if medical evidence supported it, they would prescribe a pet for a patient.
The respondents reported hearing about the health benefits through several sources, including patient stories (64%), personal experience (59%), traditional news media (44%) and medical journals (38%).