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Animal Frontiers Abstract - Feature Articles

Evolution of research into the mutual benefits of human–animal interaction


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  1. Vol. 4 No. 3, p. 49-58
    Published: December 22, 2014

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  1. Sandra McCune*,
  2. Katherine A. Kruger*†,
  3. James A. Griffin,
  4. Layla Esposito,
  5. Lisa S. Freund,
  6. Karyl J. Hurley§ and
  7. Regina Bures
  1. WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Freeby Lane, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK
    University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society (CIAS), Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, USA
    Mars Petcare, Global Scientific Affairs, McLean, VA, USA


  • There has been unprecedented development of research into human–animal interaction (HAI) in recent years, and this has produced rapid growth in our knowledge and understanding of the benefits that accrue from pet ownership.

  • Recent evidence and developments in the field of HAI have improved our understanding of the role that pets play in cardiovascular health, their ability to help us cope with stress, some of the ways they can enable us to retain health and mobility into old age, that their mere presence helps us to engage with new people and strengthens communities, and that they may even enhance our immune function.

  • Future research would be enhanced by the inclusion of pet-related questions in national health surveys; the adoption of standardized protocols and measures; incorporation of new technologies; and further exploration of animal-assisted interventions (AAI), including the expanding roles for therapy and service animals.

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Copyright © 2014. © 2014 McCune, Kruger, Griffin, Esposito, Freund, Hurley and Bures