Joseph Bartges, professor of internal medicine and nutrition in the College of Veterinary Medicine, was quoted in The Washington Post about the connection between a dog’s health and its owner’s health.
“As veterinarians, we often see pets who have the same health issues as their human companions or who are sentinels for a human health problem,” he said.
This might be because pets and owners share the same environment and spend so much time together.
Bartges mentioned the increasing numbers of conditions—such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease and cancer—related to diet and lifestyle in pets as well as humans. Pets also can offer insights into allergies, mental well-being and more. Anxiety, obesity, gastrointestinal infections and even insomnia are all disorders that can exist in pet-owner pairings.