Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Headey, Bruce
Grabka, Markus M.
Year of Publication: 
[Journal:] Social Indicators Research [ISSN:] 0303-8300 [Publisher:] Springer [Place:] Berlin and Heidelberg [Year:] 2007 [Volume:] 80 [Pages:] 297-311
The German and Australian longitudinal surveys analysed here are the first national representative surveys to show that (1) people who continuously own a pet are the healthiest group and (2) people who cease to have a pet or never had one are less healthy. Most previous studies which have claimed that pets confer health benefits were cross-sectional. So they were open to the objection that owners may have been healthier in the first place, rather than becoming healthier due to owning a pet. In both countries the data show that pet owners make about 15% fewer annual doctor visits than non-owners. The relationship remains statistically significant after controlling for gender, age, marital status, income and other variables associated with health. The German data come from the German Socio-Economic Panel in which respondents have been interviewed every year since 1984 (N = 9723). Australian data come from the Australian National Social Science Survey 2001 (N = 1246).
doctor visits
panel surveys
pet owners
Published Version’s DOI: 
Additional Information: 
The final publication is available at
Document Type: 
Document Version: 
Accepted Manuscript (Postprint)
Social Media Mentions:


Files in This Item:

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.