Journal article

Pet dogs benefit owners' health: A 'natural experiment' in China

Bruce Headey, Fu Na, Richard Zheng

SOCIAL INDICATORS RESEARCH | SPRINGER | Published : 2008

Abstract

This paper reports results from a 'natural experiment' taking place in China on the impact of dogs on owners' health. Previous Western research has reported modest health benefits, but results have remained controversial. In China pets were banned in urban areas until 1992. Since then dog ownership has grown quite rapidly in the major cities, especially among younger women. In these quasi-experimental conditions, we hypothesise that dog ownership will show greater health benefits than in the West. Results are given from a survey of women aged 25-40 in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou (N = 3031). Half the respondents owned dogs and half did not. Owners reported better health-related outcomes. ..

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