Children With Dogs Are Less Stressed, Research Shows, Proving Once More That Having A Pet Is The Best
There are many reasons to love dogs. They're cute, cuddly, loyal — and as new research has just concluded, they can be beneficial to the health of not just you, but your kids as well. Recent reports show that children with dogs are less stressed than those who don't have a furry friend.
According to Medical News Today, researchers from Bassett Medical Center in New York examined 643 children, from the ages of four to 10 years old, over an 18-month period to see whether having pet dogs in the home affected their mental health in any way. It turns out pups do more for kids than just provide a fun companion — they also help alleviate children's stress levels.
Of the 58 percent of children with a dog in the home, only 12 percent tested positive on a screening test for anxiety in the study. That's significantly lower compared to the 21 percent of children without a dog who also tested positive for anxiety.
Why? As researchers stated, "Interacting with a friendly dog also reduces cortisol levels, most likely through oxytocin release, which lessens physiologic responses to stress. These hormonal effects may underlie the observed emotional and behavioral benefits of animal-assisted therapy and pet dogs."
It makes perfect sense. We already know that dogs are in tune with their owners' emotions, and can often sense when you're in a bad mood. That's why they tend to get extra cuddly and adorable when you're having a rough day — to try and make you happy. This intuition is part of what makes them so great for kids. After all, what better way to alleviate stress and anxiety than coming home and seeing your pooch waiting for you?
Between this study and all the other ways canines are good for your health, I think we can make another official conclusion: dogs are just the best!