Pet parents more likely to be depressed, lonely

Washington: With a list of more than ten health benefits of owning a pet, a professor having studied human-animal connection has revealed a scientifically proven fact that pet owners “are more likely to be lonely, depressed, and have panic attacks.” Reported by CNN, psychologist Harold Herzog, a pet-loving professor at Western Carolina University who has long studied the human-animal connection, is of the view that having a pet can bring a circle of love into our lives.

But, as cited by CNN, Herzog also points to studies that found pet owners “are more likely to be lonely, depressed and have panic attacks, more likely to have asthma, obesity, high blood pressure, gastric ulcers, migraine headaches, and use more medicine, et cetera.” Most of the pet-owners are convinced of the blessings their fur babies bring to their lives, but science yet has to prove that pets do bring a change in our health positively.

Megan Mueller, co-director of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction and proud owner of a dog and guinea pig, totally agrees that owning a pet does have immediate short term benefits, physiological and psychological, but has a doubt on the same to be effective in the case of depression. To further make the matter clear, Herzog made a check to 30 studies on the topic among which eighteen showed no difference in depression rates between people with pets and those without.

CNN also cited that the main reason why even science cannot give a clear cut statement on the subject of pets and our health is that it’s nearly impossible to conduct the ‘gold standard’ of studies.

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