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Published Works

  • The Human-Companion Animal Bond: How Humans Benefit

    Friedmann, Erika; Son, Heesook

    Pet Partners

    This article provides the research data regarding the human health benefits of companion animals, animal-assisted therapy, animal-assisted activities, and assistance animals; reviews measures that can be taken to enable safe pet ownership for the immunocompromised, and discusses the veterinarian's role in supporting immune-compromised clients and clients who have assistance animals.

    The human-animal bond is extremely important to most clients of small animal veterinary practices. Pet ownership, or just being in the presence of a companion animal, is associated with health benefits, including improvements in mental, social, and physiologic health status. This article provides the research data regarding the human health benefits of companion animals, animal-assisted therapy, animal-assisted activities, and assistance animals; reviews measures that can be taken to enable safe pet ownership for the immunocompromised, and discusses the veterinarian's role in supporting immune-compromised clients and clients who have assistance animals. Client education and enhanced veterinary care can reduce the risk from zoonotic diseases, even for the immunocompromised.
  • The Health Benefits of Dog Walking for People and Pets: Evidence and Case Studies.

    Johnson, Rebecca; Beck, Alan; McCune, Sandra (editors)

    Pet Partners

    Obesity is a national epidemic in the United States. It is estimated that by 2018 the cost of treating weight-related illnesses will double to almost $350 billion a year, while a 2010 report by the US Surgeon General estimates that two-thirds of American adults and almost one in three children are now overweight or obese. This volume originated in a special 2009 symposium funded in part by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and sponsorship from Mars Waltham on how human-animal interaction may help fight obesity across the lifespan. The authors present scientific evidence about the benefits of dog walking for improving human and animal health, and case studies of programs that are using this powerful expression of the human-animal bond to combat obesity. The volume is especially valuable as a sourcebook of evidence-based studies for public health professionals treating overweight humans and veterinarians treating obese dogs.