Walking for therapy with man's best friend

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2010 Mar;48(3):19-22. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20100202-05.


Recent research has shown that older people who walk dogs are more likely than those who walk with a human companion to engage in regular exercise and show more improvement in fitness. Studies with dogs and other animals have suggested new approaches for using animals to enhance both mental and physical health in older adults. With the current intense focus on health care reform, increased use of animals as therapy may serve as a cost-effective strategy for improving and maintaining health in older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Aged* / physiology
  • Aged* / psychology
  • Animal Assisted Therapy / economics
  • Animal Assisted Therapy / methods*
  • Animals
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Dogs
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Exercise Therapy / economics
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / psychology
  • Human-Animal Bond
  • Humans
  • Physical Fitness
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking* / physiology
  • Walking* / psychology