Beneficial Effects Of Companion Animal Ownership
Research conducted in 1991 by the University of Cambridge found that first-time companion animal owners reported a significant reduction in minor health problems during the first month following getting their companion animal, and this benefit was sustained in dog owners for the entire 10 months of the study.
This study measured changes and improvements in the health and behavior of 71 first-time dog and cat owners and then compared the results to a group of non-companion animal owners.
Dog owners saw a dramatic increase in the number of walks taken, although the other two groups studied saw little change. However, both dog and cat owners experienced a reduction in minor health problems.
Although the sample was limited, the results show that having a companion animal has a number of health benefits; additional research is needed to explore the mechanisms and areas of particular benefit.