The often underestimated significance of a pet in the life of a human has been brought forward in a growing body of research that suggests that a household animal can provide a range of relational benefits.

Dr. Froma Walsh poured the research in two articles, entitled “Human-Animal Bonds I,” (focused on the benefits of companion animals) and “Human-Animal Bonds II,” (focused on their role in couple and family dynamics and family therapy).

The expert sought to determine the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.

She further looked at how the relationship can strengthen human resilience through times of crisis, persistent adversity, and disruptive transitions, such as relocation, divorce, widowhood, and adoption.

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