Human-Animal Interactions

Human-Animal Interactions - "While irresponsible attitudes...

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“While irresponsible attitudes easily result in problems of surplus and straying animals, environmental pollution and an increased risk of zoonotic disease, companion animals which are properly cared for bring immense benefits to their owners and to society and are a danger to no one.” --World Health Organization
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Introduction & Overview Throughout recorded history, played an important role in the lives of individuals & families Not until 20 th century was the human-companion animal bond discussed and written about extensively Prior to 1980, literature was case studies and anecdotal Bring forth sentimental responses from people; unites them Newspapers, children’s books, magazine Human-C.A. bond is similar throughout most of the world Cultures have a positive attitude towards pets Even most no owning a pet have favorable attitudes
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Overview, cont. Person’s health and well-being may be improved One study with elderly of companion animals suggests: 91% of pets greet owners when come home 84% seemed to understand when spoken to 78% of pets communicated to owners 63% were sensitive to moods of their owners More than half of Americans take their dog along on vacation For single people and childless couples, pets can act as a surrogate children
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National Pet Owner Survey 62% of all U.S. households own one or more pets 50% of all owners consider their pets as children or family members Virtually all pet owners talk to their pets 60% purchase gifts for their pets and celebrate their b-day 65% buy them treats on regular basis 41% of U.S. owners display their pet’s picture at home 66% of American’s cats & dogs sleep on the owner’s bed
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What is the human-animal bond? Unique relationship between the pet and its owner Loosely defined Companionship, fun, security and protection, service, etc. Complex; motivating factor for having pets in home Recognition of this bond is important in success of any veterinary practice* Vet students who understand this bond will be more successful than those who do not* *Current and Future Market for Veterinary Medical Services, 1999
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Human Health Difficult concept to define More than presence or absence of disease; “quality of life” Positives: Psychological and physiological changes Improved social development Better physical health Use of assistance animals Negatives: Communicable disease & injury vs. Aesthetic offense & nuisance
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How Pets Help People Pets make good teachers True for people of all ages Responsibility, loyalty, empathy, sharing, unconditional love Caregiving Pets as therapists Animal-assisted therapy programs Pets serve as helpers Assistance dogs provide independence Serve as hands, ears, eyes of humans
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How Pets Help People, cont.
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