As pet ownership across the globe continues to rise, several experts are continuously looking at how animal companions do more good on humans.

Mars Petcare and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) released a research report that address how human-animal relationship can be a solution in the growing epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.

“There is increasing evidence that pets can play an important role in helping people feel less lonely and more socially connected,” said Steven Feldman, executive director of HABRI. “Together with the leadership of Mars Petcare and a group of other experts and stakeholders, HABRI will work to address the crisis of loneliness in our society with the power of the human-animal bond.”

In America, loneliness affects three in five people and nine million people in the United Kingdom. About 2,000 people in the United States have been surveyed, and 85% of respondents believe that companion animals can in fact, help reduce loneliness.

“We have a responsibility to take the scientific exploration further when evidence to date shows us that pets can be part of addressing such a significant societal issue,” Rena Crumplen, global vice president of Research and Development of Mars Petcare, said. “It’s important that we undertake rigorious studies to understand how companion animals may provide a benefit for those suffering from conditions associated with social isolation and loneliness.”

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