This study investigates the impact of empathy on the relationship between human-dog attachment and human quality of life. A survey involving 263 dog owners was conducted to gather data on attachment to dogs, empathy, and human quality of life in Korea. The findings indicate significant correlations between attachment to dogs, human empathy, and quality of life. Specifically, both general attachment and concerns for animal rights/welfare demonstrate meaningful parallel double-mediation effects. However, cognitive empathy does not show a significant double-mediation effect on human quality of life. These findings emphasize the importance of attachment and empathy towards dogs in enhancing the quality of life of both humans and dogs. The study suggests a shift in perceiving dogs as independent individuals rather than mere substitutes for humans. Future research should focus on emotional factors, particularly affective empathy, to further enhance the quality of life for both humans and dogs through improved relationships.
|Department of Bio and Healing Convergence, Graduate School, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea.Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Institute for the 3Rs & Animal Welfare, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea.
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