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The Human-Animal Bond

A mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and other animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both.

History of the Human-Animal Bond

Human-canine bond is one of the oldest relationships. Domestication >12,000 years ago Transition from working companion to pet between 600 to 1300 AD Evidence of human-feline bonds 9,500 years ago. Farm animal domestication 10,000 years ago.

Most Popular Pets

Family Pets = Family Members

There are more US households with pets (62.4%) than children aged 17 and under. Children are more likely to have pets. More than 75% of owners say dogs health is as important to them as their own. 57% would prefer their pet as their only companion if they were stranded on a desert island. 52% are better at remembering the names of neighbors pets than human neighbors. A scientifically established link exists between how people treat animals and how they treat each other.

Functions in Modern Society

Assistance animals: Guide Animals Hearing Animals Service Animals Seizure Alert Animals Visitation Therapy programs (physical, mental, skill-building) Apart from dogs, capuchin monkeys and miniature horses are also being used for assistance. Livestock Guarding animals.

Animals as Partners in Work

Search and rescue dogs. Bomb detection dogs. Police dogs. Police horses
"A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime." -Mark Twain , 1895

The Therapeutic Benefits of Pets

Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets. Increasing exercise. build self-confidence. Adding structure and routine to your day. Providing sensory stress relief. Pets can provide a source of positive, nonverbal communication. Learning to ride a horse can help elevate the selfesteem of disabled children Protecting those whom we love gives a feeling of empowerment.

Benefits to Humans
Pets as Healers
Pet owners have lower blood pressure. Increased survival after heart attack. Stress reduction. Weight control. Fewer minor health problems. Reiki Healer Alzheimers patients allowed to observe fish demonstrated improved relaxation, alertness, and eating habits. Positive impact on the lonely, emotionally or physically impaired .

Childhood Development
Pets: Provide a sense of security and self-esteem. Facilitate play, exploration, independence. Facilitate an understanding of life events and life-changing events. Promote responsibility, nurturing, loyalty, empathy, sharing, and unconditional love. Animals in classrooms motivate students to work well. Improve behavior. Provide care-giving opportunities important to psychological development.

Pets and the Elderly

Provide companionship and support during bereavement. Increase levels of activity. Improve person-to-person interactions. Ease loss in natural disasters. Transcend sensory deficits, mental changes, mobility restrictions that can impede human-human relationships. When moving to residential care, there are significant benefits when elderly persons keep their pets

Animals and Disasters

A sense of personal responsibility to those entrusted to our care is a hallmark of emotionally and ethically mature human beings. Owners are loyal to the animals they love, and will risk personal injury to protect them. Pet-owning households are significantly less likely to evacuate during mandatory orders than households without pets.

Animals and People During Disasters

Leaving animals behind during routine evacuations creates stress and anxiety for pet owners and family members. Mandatory evacuations that do not include provisions for pets may cause resistance and conflict between rescuers and evacuees. Therefore, joint owner-pet evacuations should be facilitated to the extent possible.

Owning A Pet Is Not For Everyone

Pets cost money. Pets require time and attention. Pets can be destructive. Pets require responsibility. Pets carry health risks for some people.