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A pet in your life keeps the doctor away
Date:9/28/2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. Lowers blood pressure, encourages exercise, improves psychological health these may sound like the effects of a miracle drug, but they are actually among the benefits of owning a four-legged, furry pet. This fall, the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) will explore the many ways animals benefit people of all ages during the International Society for Anthrozoology and Human-Animal Interaction Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 20-25.

"Research in this field is providing new evidence on the positive impact pets have in our lives," said Rebecca Johnson, associate professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of ReCHAI. "This conference will provide a unique opportunity to connect international experts working in human-animal interaction research with those already working in the health and veterinary medicine fields. A wonderful array of presentations will show how beneficial animals can be in the lives of children, families and older adults."

Earlier this year, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), co-hosted two workshops with The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, a division of Mars Incorporated, bringing together leading experts to discuss the benefits of human-animal interaction in childhood. With support from a grant from NICHD and sponsorship from WALTHAM, the conference will continue this discussion.

Marty Becker, known as "America's Veterinarian" and a veterinary contributor to ABC's "Good Morning America" for more than 12 years, will give a special presentation at the conference called "The Power of Love: the science and the soul behind that affection-connection we call The Bond."

Other conference discussions will include ways that human-animal interaction benefit
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Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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