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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Zooeyia

By Donald L. Noah, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, Associate Professor, Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Midwestern University ; Stephanie R. Ostrowski, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Zooeyia is defined as “the positive inverse of zoonosis” and represents the innumerable benefits that stem from human interaction with animals. (See also The Human-Animal Bond.) Too often, that interaction focuses on negative issues such as disease and injury rather than on the positive contributions to our physical, mental, and social well-being. These contributions are manifested at both the individual and community levels. Documented individual benefits of interaction with animals include increased physical activity, smoking cessation, hypertension control, reduced anxiety, and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Interaction with domestic animals contributes at the community level by facilitating social interaction, promoting a sense of safety, enhancing the “give and take” communication between neighbors and fellow pet owners, and perhaps even lowering overall health care costs.