Did You Know That Dogs Can Help Reduce Your Anxiety?

By January 29 | See Comments

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Did You Know That Dogs Can Help Reduce Your Anxiety?
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Do you feel calmer and happier when you're around your dog? Pets, and dogs even more so, are known to help with people's anxiety. Well, what difference does it make; it's just another reason to love dogs even more than you already do. Let's see how dogs can help control anxiety.

What research studies have to say

Researchers say that pets, and dogs, in particular, can help cope with anxiety and depression. It's not just adults who notice reduced anxiety levels when they are around pets, it applies to kids as well. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention carried out a research to observe how being around dogs affected children. The researchers studied over 643 children in the 4-10 age group. 58 percent of the children in the study had a dog while the remaining did not have one at home. Among the children with a pet, it was seen that only 12 percent of them showed signs of anxiety and stress. Meanwhile, in the group without pets, it was seen that 21 percent of them showed signs of anxiety. The results clearly reveal how having a dog for a pet can make a positive difference in our lives.

How do dogs help combat anxiety?

According to researchers, the cause-effect relation between bonding with a pet and reduced anxiety can be explained as follows. Interactions between dogs and humans can lead to enhanced oxytocin hormone levels in the two parties. The hormone is known to assist with social bonding while cutting down anxiety levels in an individual. If the dog that you are interacting with is friendly, then it brings down the cortisol levels in the individual and in turn the stress response. Also, dogs have an innate calming effect on people. In fact, the mere presence of dogs can bring an aura of calm and comfort, helping ease anxiety before it escalates. In fact, bring around dogs for even sometime everyday can initiate the release of positive hormones such as prolactin, serotonin and oxytocin, which makes the person feel happier.Dogs can identify panic attack signs much before than others, all thanks to their acute senses. Dogs pick up on cues such as heavy or quick breathing or when their owner is in an agitated state of mind and starts to bite the nails or pace around. They can even pick up on changes in heart rate, which occur when an individual is having a panic attack. This is why many dogs are trained to be service dogs or emotional support dogs, and they can do way more than what those medications can. These dogs are trained to identify panic attacks, and intervene before it gets worse.

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