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Independent Study Reveals Family Bonds made Stronger on Vacations where Animals are Involved

Summer is coming, our experts at review study that shows vacations with animals will help the family bond. Spending quality time with the family often means planning a vacation for members of all ages with varying abilities and interests.

(PRWEB) May 14, 2010 -- More and more families are finding it exciting and different to spend their vacations at a Dude or Guest Ranch where animals are present.

Since 1995, we here at have helped thousands of families wanting to experience the feel and lure of the old West by providing a cozy place to stay which is also accompanied by horses, cattle, and other animals.    As experts on the subject of the therapeutic aspects of animal interactions we would like to bring to your attention a study (see Brown 2007) that refers to Animal companionship and its therapeutic effects.

Spending quality time with the family often means planning a vacation for members of all ages with varying abilities and interests. Year after year, families make it a big deal deciding where to go. Lately, these families have discovered just how crucial it is to stay at a place where you can experience not only the great outdoors and nature, but the company of animals as well. Families found that by doing so, their relationships with one another grew stronger than on previous family vacations where they spent the majority of the time indoors and/or without animals.    

Dude ranches all over the United States and Canada offer a wide variety of fun filled activities and amenities involving animals. You might be surprised to find dude ranches in New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Arkansas as well as those states “out west”. These family vacations end with a more bonded family because of the animal interactions.

Each ranch is different and offers its own set of activities associated with the animals on the property. Some of the activities involving animals include:

  • Horseback riding
  • Trail rides
  • Roping
  • Rodeos
  • Wagon train adventure
  • Fishing
  • Petting zoos
  • Birdwatching
  • Wildlife viewing

These types of vacations where the majority of the time is spent outdoors amongst the animals, has been proven to strengthen family relationships, and with good reason. It has been known that horses have a calming effect on people and create closer ties with one another as the family is taking care of the horse together, going on horseback rides together, and even training the horse together. Being out in nature with animals is a calming feeling in and of itself and the staff at these ranches have seen an abundance of joy among the families that are doing these activities together.

Whether the preference of a family vacation is a small and close knit atmosphere where guests feel like part of the family; an all-out adventure where you can participate in cattle drives and sleep out under the stars; or a more luxurious spot where Mom can relax in the spa while Dad plays golf and the kids swim, rope and ride, can help you find the perfect ranch.

Not many places like this exist, where all these things can be done in one location. Usually its drive to the hotel, unpack your bags, get in the car, drive to another place, and so on. I think people often feel like they spend more time in the car then they do at their actual destination. For traveling families, the convenience of having everything in one location is huge, and these ranches proudly offer that.

What is so different about taking the family to a Dude and Guest Ranch? A first time visitor commented, “I have never imagined that our family could have such a marvelous time being together. The beautiful scenery, the real cowboys and the friendships we made have made us believers. We can’t wait till next year so we can do it again.” Another guest remarked that “the outstanding hospitality of all the staff, and the feeling of “fitting-in” made this one of the best vacations we have ever taken.” “My kids felt like they had a horse of their own, since they got to help groom, feed and exercise the horse assigned to them.” Endless comments like these suggest that this type of hospitality and the dedication seen at these ranches is what keeps families coming back year after year.
If your kids have been stuck in the city and have had little exposure to animals and wildlife, then this may be the perfect opportunity for them to get out and explore the good old outdoors. The beautiful scenery, the joy of being outdoors, and the love that these animals provide should certainly be enough to entertain. So pack up them boots and saddle up for a trip that won’t be forgotten at a Dude or Guest Ranch. To find the Dude and Guest Ranch that is perfect for you and your family, visit We can be contacted directly at 520-395-1453. Ian Singer is the president and CEO of and will personally respond to your inquiry.

Brown, S.-E. (2007). Companion animals as self-objects. Anthrozoos, 20 (4), 329–343.


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