Pet ownership and health-rated quality of life in New Zealand

Amber Lewis, Christian Ulrich Krägeloh, Daniel Shepherd

Abstract


A great number of previous studies have linked pet ownership to positive health outcomes, but so far no study has investigated its effects on quality of life. Using a sample of 282 university undergraduate students, the present study investigated the effects of pet ownership on health-related quality of life, whilst controlling for demographics variables and level of attachment to the pet. Quality of life was measured using the WHOQoL-BREF, which divides quality of life into four separate domains: physical, psychological, social, and environmental quality of life. Dog ownership was related to significantly higher scores on physical quality of life (p<.05), and owning a pet other than a dog or a cat was linked to significantly higher scores in the social domain (p<.05). The present results failed to replicate previous findings of increased psychological health in pet owners, even when level of attachment to the pet was controlled for. This study provides the first exploratory results of the effect of pet ownership on quality of life as measured by the WHOQoL-BREF in a New Zealand sample.

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Keywords

pet ownership; health-related quality of life; New Zealand; WHOQoL-BREF



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology