Throughout the history, the connection between humans and animals has been one of the most exclusive and long-lasting relationships in the world. This special bond benefits both humans and pets alike and it’s much more than simple friendship. People see their pets as important members of their family: they’re friends, companions and protectors. They are seen as a source of love, safety and happiness for humans.

In a biological, physical, psycological and social way, the modern man is similar to that primitive man who syncronized his biological rythm with the natural environment simply for his survival. The industrial and technological progress has brought the man away from his natural environment, creating a more isolated and stressful lifestyle. According to recent studies the relationship between humans and animals protect from the debilitating effects of stress in a long term, as a result of oxytocine and arginine vasopressin (AVP) releases. A great deal of research still must be done in this area to reveal the biological grounds of the human-animal relationship.

Scientific research gives us increasing evidence that pets may provide better physical and psycological health to their owner: boost social-emotional development of children; improve learning in class; increase efficiency and loyalty in the work place; encourage a more active and healthy lifestyle: help to keep or improve elderly people’s functionality and provide emotional assistance in a wide range of situations in which life becomes challenging.

Pets of different species are already present in almost half of the Spanish households (48.7%) while a third of homes has at least a dog. This tendency is increasing due to a major awareness towards animals by younger generations, and also due to the rise in elderly population who find in their pets a reason to exist.

Unfortunately, the inclusion of pets in our daily life still needs to overcome lots of social and legal barriers which the citizen finds when they want to access with their pets to various shops, public transport, beaches, parks, etc., or live in residences for the elderly or in shelters for domestic violence victims.

Source <<El animal de compañia en el ámbito familiar y sociosanitario>> Confederación Empresarial Veterinaria Española (CEVE)