Journal of Veterinary Medical Education
Barker, S. B., Wolen, A.R. The Benefits of Human–Companion Animal Interaction: A Review (2008). Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 35 (4), 487-495.
This article provides a review of research published since 1980 on the benefits of human–companion animal interaction. Studies focusing on the benefits of pet ownership are presented first, followed by research on the benefits of interacting with companion animals that are not owned by the subject (animal-assisted activities). While most of the published studies are descriptive and have been conducted with convenience samples, a promising number of controlled studies support the health benefits of interacting with companion animals. Future research employing more rigorous designs and systematically building upon a clearly defined line of inquiry is needed to advance our knowledge of the benefits of human–companion animal interaction.