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Jennifer Applebaum - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Jennifer Applebaum

Assistant Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Jennifer Applebaum is an expert on pet ownership and the resulting health and well-being/welfare implications of the human-pet dyad.


Jennifer Applebaum is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health at UF's College of Public Health and Health Professions. Her research takes a social scientific approach to the One Health framework (which states that human, animal, and environmental health are inherently linked) by considering how social and ecological factors impact human-pet relationships, which trickles down to the health and well-being/welfare of humans and pets in multispecies family units.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Companion Animals

One Health

Pet Ownership


Pet Owners

Animal Welfare

One Welfare

Media Appearances (3)

Is having a pet good for your health? Studies show heart and brain benefits and how the human-animal bond makes us feel happier

South Chine Morning Post  online


Animals in therapy aren’t a new thing. Dogs, horses, even pigs have been used in the treatment, or management, of a number of health conditions for centuries. The practice reportedly began in the late 1700s when the staff at an English Quaker health retreat urged patients with mental health conditions to interact with the animals on site. Much later, psychologists including Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud brought their dogs into sessions with patients.

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New research uncovers some surprising facts about the link between pet ownership and allostatic load

PsyPost  online


Having a pet appears to help buffer against the physiological consequences of chronic exposure to stress. But, according to new research, the link between pet ownership and reduced allostatic load depends on certain socioeconomic factors, such as ethnicity. The findings have been published in SSM – Population Health. Allostatic load refers to the cumulative physiological wear and tear on the body that results from chronic exposure to stressors.

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Pet Rent Is the Newest Tool of Housing Discrimination

Dame Magazine  online


The woman was crying when she called a friend from her Los Angeles-area apartment two months ago. Did he know anyone who might want to adopt her little black-and-white dog? No, she explained, she didn’t want to give it up, not at all. But she’d just gotten a new lease with changed terms: if she wanted to keep the dog, she’d have to pay an extra $50 a month in “pet rent.” And she just couldn’t afford it. Fifty dollars was groceries, a bus pass.

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Articles (3)

Longitudinal associations between allostatic load, pet ownership, and socioeconomic position among U.S. adults aged 50+

SSM - Population Health

Jennifer W. Applebaum, et. al


It is hypothesized that pets provide benefits to human health by buffering the deleterious effects of stress, but varying exposure to chronic stress via social position is rarely considered in these conceptual and empirical models. Allostatic load is an index of biological and physical measures that represents cumulative wear and tear on the body via chronic stress exposure.

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The Impact of Sustained Ownership of a Pet on Cognitive Health: A Population-Based Study

Journal of Aging and Health

Jennifer W. Applebaum, et. al


Approximately 5.8 million Americans are currently living with dementia (Plassman et al., 2007; Zhang et al., 2021)—a term that describes a group of progressive, incurable neurological syndromes associated with irreversible cognitive decline and behavioral changes. The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia and other cognitive disorders is expected to more than double in the next 30 years, as the proportion of U.S. older adults increases (Zhang et al., 2021).

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Pet-Friendly for Whom? An Analysis of Pet Fees in Texas Rental Housing

Frontiers in Veterinary Science

Jennifer W. Applebaum, et. al


Previous studies have underscored the difficulty low-income pet owners often face when attempting to secure affordable rental housing. Further exacerbating this housing disparity are fees charged on top of normal monthly rent to pet owners in “pet-friendly” rental housing. In this study, we aggregated rental housing listings from the twenty most populous cities in Texas, USA from a popular online rental database.

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