Dog being walked in a wood

Human-animal bond survey highlights a strong emotional bond between owners and pets, especially for those with health issues

A survey by Boehringer Ingelheim and Ipsos Research Institute has shown a number of health benefits to humans in owning a pet, with some key groups receiving the most benefit; namely those with depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, cardiac health complaints and children with health issues.

3,000 pet owners were included in the survey from France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Some of the key conclusions of the survey were: 

  • 96 per cent of dog owners and 91 per cent of cat owners declare that owning pets has a positive impact on their daily life, 66 per cent consider them as family members.
  • For 55 per cent of respondents, who mention that their pet improves their state of health, the pet brings more relaxation to into their life and for 43 per cent it helps increasing physical exercise.
  • The decrease of medicine (relaxant, depressant, sedative) is part of the concrete improvement linked to the pet ownership (~7 per cent of the sample).
  • Owners with a condition spend more time and are more emotionally engaged with their pet – unconditional love and trust is what 80 per cent of them strongly agree while talking about their affective state with their pet.
  • Respondents having children suffering from severe or chronic disease are most aware of the human-animal bond than the two other groups.

The full results can be viewed on the Boehringer Ingelheim website.

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