Clinical Perspectives


Exploring the Many Known and Suspected Health Benefits of Canine Ownership

July 07, 2021

Dog Medicine Clinical Perspectives

Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated, and based on paleogenomic techniques this likely occurred in the Neolithic Period 20,000-40,000 years ago in Europe and Central and East Asia. 

By 14,000 years ago, people were burying loyal dog companions. Over the millennia, dogs have become ingrained in society with 48% of US households having a pet, for a total of more than 89 million pet dogs. Aside from the obvious joy of having a companion dog, there are many known and suspected health benefits of canine ownership.

Dr. Lary Robinson
Dr. Lary Robinson, Thoracic Oncology Program

In a recently published article in The American Journal of Medicine  Dr. Lary Robinson, of Thoracic Oncology Program, explores how Physical Activity, Allergies, Autoimmune Disease and, Mental Health afflictions such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and loneliness can all be positively impacted by having a canine companion. Read the full article here.

Pet therapy has proven effective in various locations including cancer centers, hospitals, and long-term care and rehabilitation centers. Moffitt’s Pet Therapy Program was established over 30 years ago, shortly after Moffitt Cancer Center opened.

The program began with only a few dogs, visiting very limited areas of the Center. Today there are over 50 dogs that visit most campuses, including Magnolia, McKinley, Moffitt at International Plaza, Moffitt Business Center and the Stabile Research Building. 

If you’d like to refer a patient to Moffitt Cancer Center, complete our online form or contacting a physician liaison for assistance. As part of our efforts to shorten referral times as much as possible, online referrals are typically responded to within 24 - 48 hours.