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Pets in Families: What Family Physicians Should Know and Do



Baldeep Paul, MD, CCFP, Family physician, Toronto Working With Families Institute, Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

Posted: September 26, 2014    Format:
Pets in Families: What Family Physicians Should Know and Do

By: ,

Views: 332

Category(s): Behavioural Medicine, Clinical (by topic)
Topic(s): Pets in families, Working With Families, Zooeyia


Pets are important members of families. They provide emotional support, social capital, and are strong motivators in making positive lifestyle changes that improve human health. Pets also have direct and positive impact on human health–zooeyia. Family physicians can use the Pet Query practice tool to uncover information about a patient’s home life and family structure and to strengthen the patient-physician therapeutic alliance. Managing risks of zoonotic disease and injury is not the primary nor the sole responsibility of family physicians, but rather an opportunity for interprofessional collaboration with veterinarians.

This is one educational module in a series produced by the Working With Families Institute to provide a learning resource for physicians dealing with common medical and psychosocial issues that have an impact on families. The modules seek to bridge the gap between current and best practice, and provide opportunities for physicians to enhance or change their approach to a particular clinical problem. They use a problem-based style and real case scenarios that pose questions to the reader. The cases are followed by an information section based on the latest evidence, case commentaries,references and resources. The modules are designed for either individual learning or small group discussion.