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My Therapist Has Paws and a Tail – Impact of Having Pets on the Psychosocial Wellbeing of Pet Owners Residing In an Urban Area of Kancheepuram District Tamil Nadu



Introduction: Pet attachment plays an important role in human’s mental health, well-being, and quality of life. This study examined the human attachment to their pets and their stress reduction because of their pets among urban area of Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu.
Objective: With the above background, the study was done with the aim to assess stress reduction due to pet attachment among pet owners.
Methodology: Sample size was calculated using the formula 4PQ/l2. Based on the study done by Hart LA et al, 64% of pet owners benefitted psychosocially from pet companionship.13 Keeping this as P in the formula, sample size was calculated with 8% absolute precision and 10% non-response. The required sample size was rounded off to 170. The study was started in January 2021. By purposive sampling method, from the outpatients visiting urban health center attached to a private medical college, those who have pets were included in the study. Study was completed by April 2021 when the required sample size of 170 was reached.
Results: Among the study participants, most of them were in the age group between 15 to 30 years. Around 50.6% were females and 48.2% were males. About 94.7% were educated and 62.9% were employed. Around 75.9% participants allowed their pets inside the room and around 82.4% of them considered their pet as their family member. Attachment to pets been calculated using Short Attachment to Pet Scale (SAPS) of which 74.1% participants had good attachment to pets. In this study around 80.6% participants felt reduction in self- reported stress being with their pets.
Conclusion: From this study, 74.1% reported stress reduction on being with pets. Thus, adopting a pet can considerably reduce the stress.

Key words: stress buster, attachment, pets, humane behavior

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