Essay topics: A recent study reported that pet owners have longer, healthier lives on average than do people who own no pets. Specifically, dog owners tend to have a lower incidence of heart disease. In light of these findings, Sherwood Hospital should form a partnership with Sherwood Animal Shelter to institute an adopt-a-dog program. The program would encourage dog ownership for patients recovering from heart disease, which should reduce these patients' chance of experiencing continuing heart problems and also reduce their need for ongoing treatment. As a further benefit, the publicity about the program would encourage more people to adopt pets from the shelter. And that will reduce the incidence of heart disease in the general population.
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
The argument's basic claim is that, based upon recent study which indicates that pet owners have long and healthier life, and dog owners have a lower incidence of heart attack, will make heart patients also healthy if they start owning a dog. The argument also goes on to say that it will reduce the incidence of heart disease in general. While the incidence of lower heart disease is true for dog owners, it does not mean that a patient who is already suffering from heart disease will also benefit. The study presented is for general people who may or may not be suffering from heart disease before they owned dog, and therefore will not be directly applicable for those already suffering from heart disease.
Another flaw in the argument is that, while it does states that pet owners have longer and healthier life on an average, it fails to account the life style of those pet owners in particular. Those very people might be availing good health due to a more active lifestyle because of owning pets and therefore pets are not a direct reason for a healthier life style. Those who still own pets but dont live a active lifestyle or have servants to look after pets, may not get such benefits as the argument suggest. Therefore encouragment towards an active life style, which may or may not include pets will be more benficial.
The argument proposes that patients who are suffering from heart disease will benefit from owning a dog, but what study shows is that, in general people who own dogs are found with less heart disease. No where it is mentioned that owning a dog will stay or reverse damgae already done. Therefore the claim that owning a dog will reduce chances of heart disease is unfounded.
Further, study fails to account that which age group tends to own the dogs or pets in general. One might expect that people with younger age will generally own pet because looking after them is a bit cumbersome. As the chances of heart disease in younger people are naturally less, the relation of owning a dog or pet might not be the reason for healthier and active life style.
The study fails to take into account many a things while suggesting that owning pets will lead to healthier life style, such as the lifestyle of people owning pets, their age group, their financial status. I say financial status because, many a people might be affluent enough to own a pet and are therefore expected to live a better life, health care, fitness products. Those not so rich to own a pet, may not access the same health facilities as affluents one. This also will render the argument futile, as those who cannot own a pet due to money reasons are actually less healthier because of poor level of life. We see that the study used by argument fails to link healthiness of people as the prime effect of owning a pet, and even if the study is true then also, the effect of owning pets or dogs to inprove the health of already suffering from such disease is not established.
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