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Are Companion Animals the Secret to Good Health?

By Bradley Smith, Petra Bywood

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People keep pets for companionship, recreation and protection rather than for the specific purpose of enhancing health. However, a considerable body of literature supports the idea that companion animals can improve overall quality of life, including physical, social and psychological health, yet there has been no discussion of practical ways to integrate companion animals into health care and promotion.  A rapid review of the literature was conducted in relation to pets/companion animals and health. Primary information sources included articles located in major citation databases (e.g. PubMed and Scopus). A snowballing technique was used to identify additional studies in bibliographies of relevant papers.


Katie Carroll

Date 2012
Publisher Flinders University
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. animal companionship
  4. Animal roles
  5. Cats
  6. Dogs
  7. Health
  8. Human-animal bond
  9. Human-animal relationships
  10. Mammals
  11. Mental health and well-being
  12. Pet ownership
  13. Pets and companion animals
  14. Physical health and well-being