Image shows two dogs sunbathing in the yard of a family home.

Who doesn’t have a friend or family member who has a pet at home? The adoption of pets has grown exponentially in recent years, including them in the family nucleus. FEDIAF says that there are 91 million European households with pets (

Due to this beautiful revolution in the homes of many people, the scientific study on the influence that our pets have on their owners is of interest. It is especially interesting to analyze the impact of these little life companions, who give us so much love, on some illnesses, whether physical or mental, many of them with an increasingly increasing incidence.

Research on the influence of companion animals on psychosocial and physiological health provides data on how dogs help manage stress and pain in people with cancer and terminal illnesses (Carey. B et al, 2022). And not only that, but they have also been shown to help improve the social skills and attention of children with ADHD (Schuck. SE et al, 2015).

On the other hand, a clinical trial from 2015 stated that the care and presence of guinea pigs in the classroom improved autonomic arousal in children with autism spectrum disorders, thereby reducing their anxiety levels and creating positive emotions. (O’Haire. ME et al, 2015).

In addition to reduce stress, improving anxiety and pain, and creating positive emotions, pets also help foster responsibility and being more consistent and disciplined when it comes to routine checks in diseases, such as diabetes (performing relevant blood glucose measurements) (Maranda. L et al, 2015).

Therefore, having pets influences:

  •   Emotional well-being ➔ Reduces stress, anxiety, and loneliness.
  •   Physical activity ➔ Encourages going for walk and playing outdoors.
  •   Reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol ➔ Less cardiovascular diseases.
  •   Social support ➔ They provide companionship and emotional support.
  •   Benefits in children ➔ Lower risk of developing allergies and asthma, as well as psycho-emotional development.

At UMSS we encourage all animal lovers to take care of them as they take care of people’s health. We also aim to promote animal therapy in different diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular diseases, among others, to improve people’s physical and emotional health.

María J. Muñoz-Fernández


  1. Health benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2024, from
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