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What is the Human-Animal Bond?

‘A mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is

influenced by behaviours that are essential to the health and well-being of both’

That is the official description of the Human-Animal Bond according to Human-Animal Bond Research Institute. I’m sure if you’re reading this then you know exactly the desire humans have for secure connections and the need to seek attachment from inanimate objects and/or living organisms. That‘s why PAWS believe in our vision so greatly! Our therapy dogs are able to offer a direct link to nature, piquing human attraction and interest.

Some of you may or may not know the biophilia hypothesis. This is the human inclination to fixate on various aspects of natural life, combining emotional tendencies for living beings and nature. This hypothesis is a complex, multifaceted concept influenced by environment and culture.

Our relationship with animals started in early human civilisation with hunter-gatherer societies which evolved to an increased interest to research certain species with such things to do with migratory patterns, food sources and behaviours. This then led to increased interaction with these species.

We are now at the point where we are at the beginning of understanding just how beneficial the human-animal bond is to us, especially in today’s society where so many of our young people can feel supported by these animals. The animal assisted interventions that PAWS provide have been utilised to address psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, autism etc.

Our PAWS therapy dogs benefit just as much from the human-animal bond as us humans do. With our benefits including a decrease in blood pressure, increase in exercise, improved mood etc (you can read more on the benefits in our other blogs). A canine’s benefits include lower heart rates, reduced stress and improved mood. The human-animal bond interaction needs to be mutual. PAWS are huge advocates for the wellbeing of both our clients and the dogs hence our name…People and Animal Wellbeing Services!

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