Fossil evidence indicates an association between human beings and animals dating back at least half a million years. Today, this relationship remains strong, as evidenced by millions of visits to zoos annually, high rates of pet ownership, and the economic prosperity of the pet industry. A review of the literature indicates that human-animal interactions can remarkably enhance human physical health and psychological well-being. Yet despite reported benefits and public enthusiasm for animal-related activities, human affiliation with animals and nature is rapidly on the decline largely owing to a shift toward industrialized city living. Future research should not only continue to examine the mental and physical health implications of companion animal ownership, but also the ways to most successfully incorporate them into modern lifestyles and communities.
|Publication Title||Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research|
|Author Address||School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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