Date Published: 22 October 2003

The Healing Effects of Pets

Pet owners and animal lovers the world-over have long recognized the capability of our non-human friends to cheer us up when we are feeling down and, conversely, the sometimes catastrophic effect that the death of an animal can have on an elderly owner, otherwise living alone.

The healing effects of pets have now been the subject of many studies and this phenomenon is increasingly being documented in a wide variety of books and articles, serious academic studies and many 'feel good' books about people and their companion animals.

One well-known example of the realization of the potential therapeutic effects of the human-animal bond put to good use is the British Charity 'Pets As Therapy (PAT)'. PAT has been providing visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes by volunteers accompanied by their dogs since 1983. More recently some cats have also joined the scheme. All participating animals are friendly, temperament tested, and checked and vaccinated before they join the scheme. More information is available at

Not all dogs or cats are suitable for all people. Size, temperament, cost and sometimes even allergy considerations need to be taken into consideration when considering animal companionship.

For more about animals see our Animal News section or you could use the search bar below.

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Source: IvyRose Article. Images updated 18 Jun'18.

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