An excellent article in ‘the Australian‘ provides ample scientific evidence that owning dogs and pets in general is good for us:
‘Owning a pet is good for you. Studies show pets help make people happier and healthier, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, mitigating obesity and depression, even delaying ageing.
But the benefits accrue for communities too, according to La Trobe University psychologist Pauleen Bennett – and not just by saving Australia’s health system an estimated $2.2 billion a year
”We have 33 million pets in Australia,” Professor Bennett says, so about two-thirds of households, mostly families, have at least one pet. That is one of the highest rates of ownership in the world, but Australia’s pet population stopped growing about a decade ago, according to the Australian Companion Animal Council. Australian Bureau of Statistics data show the number of dogs fell almost 10 per cent between 1994 and 2009, while the cat population dropped nearly 20 per cent.
Not everyone wants a pet, but research shows most Australians do. Eight in 10 have lived with a pet, and of those who don’t, more than half wish they did. So what’s going wrong?
”Our changing lifestyles are making it more difficult to own pets,” Professor Bennett says. ”As our society becomes more urbanised, the opportunities for contact with animals are becoming limited. So we need to make it easier for people to own pets or interact with animals in other ways.”
Those at the Melbourne workshop agreed, noting issues such as tougher pet legislation, higher-density living, ”no pets” policies, community problems associated with nuisance pets, and general ignorance…’
Anyone who has ever owner a pet would agree with every ounce of this scientific proof. Read the whole thing.