Wednesday, 3 August 2011

is pet ownership actually good for our health?

I came across an article today about a psychologist who thinks we should look carefully at claims that pet ownership is universally good for us.

It's generally accepted that it is, but according to Harold Herzog, Professor of Psychology at the Western Carolina University, we need to investigate this claim in more scientifically rigorous ways. He says that previous reports
often suffer from methodological problems, such as small, homogeneous samples, lack of appropriate control groups, and reliance on self-report to measure participants' health and well-being.
I feel that having Penny live with us has been good for everyone in our household, but I certainly don't know any way to prove that, because I don't know how things would have been if we had not brought her home. Somewhere on the Net, as I browsed yesterday, I saw a piece about introducing a new dog into the household, and it made the interesting point that once a dog comes into the home we cease to be individuals and become a de facto 'pack'. I think that's a good thing.

No comments: