Human pet relationship Essay

The communication between animals and humans is a very old phenomenon. Messent and Serpell in 1981 found out about half million years old fossil evidences that indicated a connection between Homo erectus and a canine-like species. Generally, pet ownership is considered to have a positive impact on a person’s physical, emotional and social well being. However, Wells (2009) reported that pet owners reported to have social and psychological benefits but mentioned no change in their physical health as compared to non-pet owners. Studies by Anderson et al. 1992 and Headey 2003, however, have stated that a person’s physical health can be improved from pet ownership.

Recently, the number of pet owners in India has increased significantly. According to India International Pet Trade Fair (IIPTF), the pet population in India has increased by upto 4 million from 2006 to 2011. On an average 600",000 pets are being taken up every year. A pet statistics survey conducted by PetSecure in 2017 suggested that India has approximately 10",200",000 pet dogs, which is sixth highest in the world.

According to Franti et al (1970), the presence of children in a household increases the likelihood that pets will be part of that household. Studies also indicate that the emotional attachment and care of pets among children increased with age (Melson, 1988). In adults, however, there is a less inclination towards pet ownership due to various factors like high expenditure, less availability of time and so on.

The main aim of the current study is to understand whether pet ownership affects a person’s daily life in terms of physical health, mental and social wellness. The study attempts to compare the stress levels in pet and non-pet owners and to establish a link (if any) between pet ownership and stress levels.

The present study is a comparison among people of different age groups and tries to find out the possible reasons why people do or do not own pets. It also analyses the general concern or care of people towards animals, irrespective of the ownership of animals.

It also tries to gather information about whether or not pet animals provide a sense of companionship to their owners when they are in need.

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