Animal-assisted interventions: making better use of the human-animal bond

Mills, Daniel and Hall, Sophie (2014) Animal-assisted interventions: making better use of the human-animal bond. Veterinary Record, 174 (11). pp. 269-273. ISSN 0042-4900


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In the third of Veterinary Record’s series of articles promoting One Health, Daniel Mills and Sophie Hall discuss the therapeutic effects of companion animals, the influence of pets on childhood development and how researchers are elucidating the true value of animal companionship.
IT has been proposed that the One Health initiative should be extended to ‘One Welfare’, in recognition of the diverse links between the welfare of human beings and other animals (Anon 2012). This is particularly true for companion animals, with a growing body of evidence indicating the diverse stress-ameliorating effects of the relationships between
people and pets; however, their importance to mental and physical health from a developmental perspective(particularly for people) is perhaps not given the attention it deserves. This is potentially a serious oversight for ealthcare professionals, policymakers and government, at a time when there are concerns over the growing cost of public healthcare in the industrialised world. Indeed, in the current economic climate, there is perhaps a greater need than ever to consider novel approaches to preventive healthcare, such as the value of animal companionship, since such approaches are potentially more cost-effective and socially acceptable than technological solutions. Companion animals should not be considered a luxury or unnecessary indulgence, but rather, when cared for appropriately, they should be seen as valuable contributors to human health and wellbeing and, as a result, society and the broader economy.

Keywords:Companion animals, Human-animal interactions, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D990 Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:13603
Deposited On:24 Mar 2014 10:22

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