White Paper – MellowTacos

Is Dog Ownership Associated with Mental Health? A Population Study of 68,362 Adults Living in England


In the article, Is Dog Ownership Associated with Mental Health, this association between owning a dog and our mental health remains a mystery, even after conducting a detailed survey studying this connection. This study’s main focus was on the basic association between humans mental health and owning a dog while the second focus was on the interactions between owning a dog and marital status all in relation to the idea of dog ownership and mental health. Self-reported information such as short term distress and mental illnesses were collected amongst a population of 68,362 adults, all residents of England. About 23 percent of these residents reported a dog living in the household. It was found that there was a lesser amount of mental illnesses reported amongst the dog owners in comparison to the non owners. According to many analyses, non married dog owners reported higher levels of short term psychological distress whereas married dog owners reported lower odds of long term mental illness. The findings of this experiment did not give us a final answer to the question, is dog ownership associated with mental health, but did indicate the idea that this question may be more complex than it was thought to be. Although, it did indicate that dog ownership based on marital status may have an impact on psychological health attributes. 

Pets and Happiness: Examining the Association between Pet Ownership and Wellbeing


In the article Pets and Happiness: Examining the Association between Pet Ownership and Wellbeing by Katherine Jacobs Bao and George Schreer, they discuss the question, Is there a connection between your happiness and your pet? Researchers have shown that there is a strong correlation between not only your physical but your mental health as well. The connection between your pet and your mental health has been shown to positively affect people with poor mental health. There has yet to be many studies proving that there’s a positive impact on those with good mental health. An online survey was conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk where they found that those who have pets are more satisfied in life than those who do not. They broke the data down and found that dog owners scored higher showing that they have better overall wellbeing. When comparing different kinds of pet owners they looked at the Big Five personality traits. These traits consist of extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, specifically. They did not see a noticeable difference when looking at which animal you owned in this section. There may not be an abundance of differences between those you have pets and those who don’t, there are still proven benefits to owning a dog over anything else. 


In the article Health and Happiness: Dogs and Their Therapeutic Value by Gabrielle Marie McKeon she shares with us all the benefits that therapy dogs provide us with. Sigmon Freud, a credible psychotherapist, believed that dogs had the ability to sense tension. In 1944 the first therapy dog began to work. She worked for about 12 years. Therapy dogs work in many different places such as homes, schools, and hospitals. Liz Cleaves, owner and operator of Auntie Dog Training Studio, says she feels that training these dogs gives her “ a deeper and better relationship”(McKeon, 9). When testing a dog’s ability to see if they meet the requirements of becoming a service dog most are good at all the requirements except for not eating food. These dogs can range from all different types of sizes and breeds. A member from a TDI Certified Therapy Team said that one of the dogs was able to connect to a patient who was very self abusive and got her to stop hitting herself. Kathryn Kircher and her dog who is TDI certified stopped by a hospital and visited an older gentleman who was not commutative and depressed for a week. That man’s daughter thanked Kircher for bringing her dog to visit because they connected so much it made him “alert and upbeat”(McKeon, 28). Dr. Stuart Markowitz, the president of Hartford hospital says that ‘“the companionship that animals bring is vital to all of us

Dogs and human health/mental health: from the pleasure of their company to the benefits of their assistance 

In the article Dogs and human health/mental health: from the pleasure of their company to the benefits of their assistance by Jan Shubert she discusses major key benefits dogs give us with their company. Using dogs for their therapeutic gift has been around for a long time. The first documented therapeutic use of dogs was used in the 9th century in belgium. Service dogs and therapy dogs are the two types of dogs that provide assistance. These dogs go to certain institutions in hopes to bring relief to patience. Most of these dogs will stick to visiting places like nursing homes and other group settings however there is something called assisted therapy which is more of a one on one treatment. Boris Levinson is a therapist who had stumbled upon incorporating dogs in therapy by accident, however, he found it very effective. He kept going with dog therapy because he had finally developed a connection with a child he wasn’t able to before. Around the same time Samuel and Elizabeth Corson started incorporating dogs into facilities for patients who were uncommunicative. Patiences seemed to be responding to this method and began to build relationships with the staff as well. 

Human–dog relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: booming dog adoption during social isolation  


In the article Human–dog relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic: booming dog adoption during social isolation by Liat Morgan she talks about how covid has affected us and how dogs have helped. During Covid-19 there people were suffering for all sorts of health issues while being locked away in their house. Dogs and cats have shown to positively increase mental health. In stress-full positions such as the pandemic these pets have shown tremendous help with anxiety and depressions. Those who also deal with social anxiety whether the pandemic caused it or not will show lots of progress with a therapy animal. During the isolation there was a larger population adopting dogs. Studies have shown that humans and dogs are more alike due to the fact that we are both “social animals” where we can both benefit from one another. However the relationship between the two is bidirectional because we have shown to have negative effects on animals. There is a strong correlation between negative health and well being of the owner and the negative health and well being of the pet. During Covid-19 people were unable to take care of their pets so they gave them up so this could be related to the pandemic due to the health risks and cost it takes to take care of a dog. 

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1 Response to White Paper – MellowTacos

  1. davidbdale says:

    When you first posted it, this was a preliminary assignment. It was among the better first drafts then, but it’s falling behind where it should be, MellowTacos.

    Use the White Paper as you should, to take Notes and record your impressions of your sources AS YOU READ THEM, the best way to begin converting your research material into language of your own that you can export to your short arguments when it’s time to draft them. Feel free to put this post into Feedback Please if there’s any way I can work from what you’ve posted to help guide you to sources or arguments.

    This post will be regraded from time to time, or on your specific request.


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