Would Your Doctor Prescribe a Pet to Improve Your Health?

Share Button

habrilogoLast spring we wrote about HABRI, the organization dedicated to studying the health benefits of the human-animal bond. “The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative funds research on the evidence-based health benefits on human-animal interaction” says HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman.
HABRI recently announced the results of it’s initiative examining the family physician’s view on the benefits to their patients health as a result of owning pets.
The study found that 97% of Doctors believe there are health benefits to owning a pet and 75% said their patients’ health improved after getting a pet. Those are pretty significant figures, clearly demonstrating the family physicians positive views on pet ownership.
A few other points from the survey:

  • Most doctors have successfully worked with animals in medicine.
  • Doctors overwhelmingly believe there are health benefits to owning pets.
  • The majority of doctors have recommended a pet to a patient.
  • Most doctors have seen their patients’ health improve as a result of pet ownership.
  • Doctors are willing to prescribe pets.

HABRI partnered with Cohen Research Group to conduct the survey of 1,000 family doctors and general practitioners. The 28-question survey was conducted in August 2014 (margin of error of +/- 3.1%). The physicians in the survey had a median of 18 years of practice experience.


I think many of us know from our own interactions with our pets of the overwhelming benefits they bring to our health and well-being, but it’s nice to see your family doctor agrees!
Read the full Press Release here:
Newstipedia: New HABRI Survey of Doctors Confirms What Research is Showing About a Health Benefits of Pets

PRNewswire: New HABRI Survey of Doctors Confirms What Research is Showing About the Health Benefits of Pets

New Survey Reveals 97% of Doctors Believe There Are Health Benefits to Owning a Pet

Share Button


  1. Without a dog, I would never get as much exercise as I do – plus, it just helps me get out of my own head when I am caring for Blueberry and her needs rather than dwelling on my own stuff.
    Blueberry’s human recently posted…What I’ve Been Up ToMy Profile

  2. Just to be clear, though, a doctor prescribing a pet gets you just that- a pet. It does NOT mean that you have a service animal, and does not give you the right to take your pet around with you in public in places that are not generally pet friendly. Access rights for people with disabilities who have service dogs are seriously damaged every time someone tries to pass off their non-service-dog animal as a trained service dog. Some people know that their pet is just a pet, others seem to think a doctor prescribing a pet or emotional support animal is the same as a service animal- and it is absolutely not. Unfortunately, this is even more confused by doctors not knowing what the differences, legally speaking, are between pets, emotional support animals (ESAs), and service dogs.
    Crystal recently posted…National Pit Bull Awareness DayMy Profile

  3. Without Harley in my life I might have been eaten alive by my recliner BOL
    What I meant to say is that he keeps me pretty active!

  4. I totally agree and when people bring in a kitten and say it is biting them and attacking them we prescribe another kitten to keep the first kitten company so they beat up on each other and leave the human alone.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Wordless Wednesday~My New Fur FriendMy Profile

  5. Interesting! I would be the first to admit a dog helps your health and well being!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…SpOoKy Siberian graphicMy Profile

  6. I can’t imagine a life without Easy, I bet I never would walk alone around or I would do so much things outside…think he is the best medecine I ever got… even when this medecine is a little bitter sometimes :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog THANKFUL TUESDAYMy Profile

  7. Of course dogs bring benefits to those who want them. But I wonder if they would be less beneficial if someone got a dog ONLY for health reasons?
    Pamela recently posted…4 Signs of Fall – Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  8. Mom has had at least one pet since she was seven. I think she would be totally lost without a pet.
    Emma recently posted…Happy YumpkinMy Profile

  9. I’m a huge believer in the power of the Human-Animal Bond. I’m grateful for the research HABRI is doing, and that doctor’s are supporting and promoting the many health benefits of pet ownership. These facts can also be used to support community requests for more access to public parks & recreation areas for dogs, as having space to walk and play w/ their dogs provides many health benefits to people. Excellent post!!
    Cathy Armato recently posted…WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Just Some Howl-o-ween Fun!My Profile

  10. I read something on I think Pets 360 about a pup bringing joy to its dying owner. I think pets give us a reason to get up each morning and see their smiling faces. ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…I’m Being WatchedMy Profile

  11. Very interesting.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…A Halloween StoryMy Profile

Comments are now closed on this post.