Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Print version ISSN 0021-2571
GRANDGEORGE, Marine and HAUSBERGER, Martine. Human-animal relationships: from daily life to animal-assisted therapies. Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità [online]. 2011, vol.47, n.4, pp. 397-408. ISSN 0021-2571. http://dx.doi.org/10.4415/ANN_11_04_12.
Humans have a long history of relationship with domestic animals and nowadays pets often act as "social substitutes" through bonding. There is some evidence that pet presence at home may induce well being in people and the development of social skills in children. Animal assisted therapies aim at developing these skills in patients on the basis of human animal interactions. Experimental data obtained on animal models suggest that this is indeed a promising line. There is however a lack of clear scientific data that would help defines what the most appropriate procedures or species may be. Improvements are observed, but again sound scientific data are mostly missing. Attention must be given to the welfare of the animals being used.
Keywords : human-animal relationship; ethology; bonding; animal-assisted therapies; pets.