As we celebrate International Love Your Pet Day on 20th February, it is good to pause and reflect on how much dogs enrich our lives. They are often seen as ‘family members’ who offer us affection, fun, and emotional and physical support. Increasing evidence shows the health and well-being benefits that canine companions may bring to older adults (Enders-Slegers & Hediger, 2019; Gee & Mueller, 2019). That relationship can change over time, particularly as both dog and owner age, impacting healthy, active aging for both parties. SCAS trustee Dr. Sandra McCune and Dr. Daniel Promislow recently gave a webinar on this topic which is based on a forthcoming paper in the Frontiers journals’ Research Topic, ‘Our canine connection; The history, benefits and future of human-dog interactions’.
Enders-Slegers, M.-J., and Hediger, K. (2019). Pet ownership and human–animal interaction 645 in an aging population: Rewards and challenges. Anthrozoös 32, 255-265.
Gee, N.R., and Mueller, M.K. (2019). A systematic review of research on pet ownership and 675 animal interactions among older adults. Anthrozoös 32, 183-207.
McCune, S., and Promislow, D. (2020) Animal Matters: Healthy, Active Aging for People and Dogs, webinar https://youtu.be/1J6b2lxyjTA