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How do dogs boost our mental health?

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How do dogs boost our mental health?

Dogs hold a significant role in their owners’ hearts and they have the ability to boost their owner’s mental health. They are often hailed as human’s best friends and there have been many scientific studies looking into how they might boost our well-being. A new study finds that dogs are helping Americans fight depression during these unprecedented times. Participants of the study included 768 pet dog owners and 767 potential pet dog owners, who all answered an online survey. 

Dog owners reported having significantly more social support available to them compared to potential dog owners, and their depression scores were also lower, compared to potential dog owners,” the study’s corresponding author Dr. Francois Martin of Nestle Purina Research writes.

The results of the study showed that dogs boost our mental health. Dog owners had significantly lower depression scores than potential dog owners, but the two groups had similar anxiety and happiness scores. The dog owners showed significantly more positive attitude and higher commitment towards pets than potential dog owners. The study also found that pets increase pet owners’ amounts of social interaction by fueling friendships. All together, the study supports that dogs makes us happier, more resilient to stress and physically healthier. Thus, helping all dog owners get through the mental impacts that have been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they evoke in us. By their delight in being with us, the reliable sunniness of their disposition, the joy they bring to playtime, the curiosity with which they embrace each new experience, dogs can melt cynicism, and sweeten the bitter heart.” – Dean Koontz, author of A Big Little Life

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