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Children and pets seem to go together and most children growing up in a pet-free home will at some time suggest to their parents that they would like a pet.

Many studies have been carried out to explore the relationship between pets and their owners and the psychological and physiological benefits owners derive through their pets.

Pets can provide children with companionship and an incentive to exercise and recent research showed that children often rank pets higher than some human relationships, and they featured prominently as providers of comfort, esteem support and confidants for a secret.

Research also shows, children with a strong bond with pets have higher scores on empathy for other children than young children without pets.

Pets can also play an important role in helping older Australians lead a productive and fulfilling life. At a time when the number of older Australians is increasing at the fastest rate in our history, that's good news for more and more Australians.

According to one study, pet ownership provides special benefits for older Australians including promoting mental stability, comfort in times of loss and stress, and constant companionship.

A companion animal may help older people cope better with the challenges of growing older and help address their emotional needs.

Cats make ideal pets for older people because they are less physically demanding than some dogs, yet the still they provide unconditional love, companionship and comfort

No matter what age the owner, the good news is that research has shown that benefits can be gained from owning a pet, regardless of whether it is a dog, cat, bird or fish.

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 02/10/07 11:34 Views: 5415

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