When Doctors' Orders Are to Adopt a Pet: New Report Calls for Creative Solutions to Help Senior Citizens' Benefit From Pet Ownership

Scientists Reinforce Health Benefits of Human-Animal Interaction, Particularly for Older Adults

BRUSSELS, March 31, 2015 /CNW/ - Creative solutions can enable older adults to spend more time with pets enjoying the emotional and physical benefits that this bonding experience can bring. Researchers at the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, University of Montana and The Ohio State University have released new recommendations that highlight potential solutions to overcome both perceived and real barriers to pet ownership.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150331/735496 )

Existing schemes to help older adults include financial help with adoption fees, home delivery of pet food (such as Meals on Wheels for pets) and programs to help look after or rehome pets if adults become unable to care for them. New solutions could include 'pet-adoption prescriptions' for older adults affected with grief or isolation, trial adoptions from shelters and guidance on pet species and breed to match the individual's needs.

"Many older adults would love to spend time with a pet and would benefit greatly from the positive effects the companionship brings, yet they worry about how they can afford or care for a pet," said Sandra McCune, PhD, Scientific Leader, Human Animal Interaction at WALTHAM®. "In many cases, these barriers are easy to overcome. This new report shines a light on the services that exist, and inspires communities, institutions and policymakers to find new and innovative solutions. We envision a future in which fostering human-animal bonds is no longer seen as alternative care, but a standard of care."

To find out more about the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, click here.

About the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition: 

Celebrating over 50 years of innovative science, the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition serves as a leading scientific authority in advancing the frontiers of research into the nutrition and health of companion animals. Located in Leicestershire, England, the renowned state-of-the-art science institute for Mars, Incorporated generates knowledge that enables the development of innovative products that meet pets' needs in a practical way. Since the publication of its first original research in 1963, WALTHAM® has pioneered many important breakthroughs in the field of pet nutrition and human-animal interaction, resulting in more than 1,700 publications, including over 600 peer-review scientific papers. Today, WALTHAM® continues to collaborate with the world's foremost scientific institutes, driving Mars' Petcare vision to create a better world for pets and providing the science and expertise that underpins leading Mars brands such as WHISKAS®, PEDIGREE®, NUTRO®, TRILL®, CESAR®, SHEBA®, KITEKAT®, DREAMIES™, AQUARIAN®, WINERGY®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and the ROYAL CANIN brand.

About Mars, Incorporated: 

Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare - PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and NUTRO®; Chocolate - M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley - DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints.  Food - UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks - ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience - COCOAVIA® and WISDOM PANEL®.

For more information, please visit http://mars.com .

Follow us: http://facebook.com/mars, http://twitter.com/marsglobal, http://youtube.com/mars, http://linkedin.com/company/mars

Full details of the publication can be found by following this link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924788.2015.994447#.VQmEotLF-6I.

SOURCE Mars Petcare

For further information: Abigail Stevenson, Telephone: +44-7966-920486, Email: Abigail.stevenson@effem.com


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