Touching lives and improving health through the power of therapy animals. No one knows when humans first began falling in love with pets. Archeological evidence of the human-dog bond goes back at least 12,000 years. However, even today, wild animals (especially, birds and baby mammals) are often kept as pets in tribal societies by indigenious peoples. (See Serpell’s excellent book In the Company of Animals for many examples.) The problem is that you can’t tell from their bones if an ancient fossilized animal was loved or lunch.
Headey BW, Fu Na, Zheng R (2008). Pet Dogs Benefit Owners’ Health: A ‘Natural Experiment’ in China. Soc Indic Res. 87:481-493. Six-legged creatures might not be the first to come to mind when thinking of pets for children. But owning an ant farm can be an entertaining and educational experience for a child. Various suppliers sell habitats designed to let children directly observe ant activities. Ants can be shipped live or grown from eggs.
The American alligator can reach over 14 feet in length and kill prey as large as cattle. Most homes cannot accommodate such a large predator. These animals can cause serious infections from bites, causing limb amputations, knock you down with a whip of their tail while it breaks your legs, and even kill you with their bite force of around 2000 pounds. You don’t want to see a male gator during mating season These animals should be respected but not kept as pets.
Our final sample included 42,044 adults for whom Individual characteristics and self-reported cat and dog ownership were available. Of these, 26.2% of respondents owned a dog, 21.5% owned a cat, and 8.5% owned both a dog and cat (these categories overlap). Forty-nine percent of respondents were male; 26.0% were Hispanic, 51.6% were White, 11.7% were Asian, 6.3% were Black, 4.4% were another race; 61.9% were married; and the average respondent age was 44.4. The average household size was 3.3 with a minimum household size of 1 and maximum of 18, 55.9% of respondents owned a home, 66% lived in a house, 56.6% worked full time and 32.2% of respondents had a full-time employed spouse. Among working adults, the average number of hours worked per week was 25.6 and everyone living in the household worked full time in 40.2% of households. Only 7.3% had current asthma, the average BMI was 26.6, and the average self-reported general health was 3.5 (where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent).
One key question is where to get your new pet. Please consider adopting: There are many wonderful dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals at most local animal shelters. There are also rescue groups for many specific dogs breeds and other types of pets. What’s more, the staff at your local animal shelter can help you find just the right pet for you. They know the animals in their care and can help you make a good match for your personality and lifestyle.