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People and companion animals: it takes two to tango

By C. Amiot, B. Bastian, P. Martens

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Animals have accompanied humans for thousands of years, with a strong bond forged between humans and other species. Our relationships with animals can take different forms. On one hand, animals can serve instrumental purposes: We currently use animals for clothing, for testing a range of human products, for gaining basic insights into human biology and behavior, and as food. On the other hand, human-animal relations are social. The clearest example is the practice of pet keeping, with people attributing a special status to their companion animals. We review the current state of research on human-animal relations by focusing particularly on companion animals and on the psychological mechanisms involved in this special relationship. Our aim is to highlight key findings from human-animal relations research that also have implications for different scientific disciplines.

Publication Title BioScience
Volume 66
Issue 7
Pages 552-560
ISBN/ISSN 0006-3568
DOI 10.1093/biosci/biw0
Author Address Maastricht University, Maastricht,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Behavioral research
  4. open access
  5. Pets and companion animals
  6. Reviews
  7. Veterinary sciences
  8. welfare
  9. Zoology
  1. open access