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Hi, I'm Arwen

I'm known as the neighborhood flirt who always wants to be the center of your attention and am always on the hunt for snuggles and treats!

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What Petting A Dog Does To Your Brain

Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland (1) have revealed why interacting with dogs may feel so good. Did you know that petting and even viewing a dog lead to higher levels of activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area that helps regulate and process social and emotional interactions.(2) These effects are greater when interacting with an actual dog, as opposed to a stuffed animal, much current research suggests that spending more time with a dog has significant effects on an individual's mental health.

Research shows that interacting with animals such as dogs and cats — even for as few as 10 minutes — has a stress-relieving effect. In a study of university students, who often report high levels of stress, petting a dog for 10 minutes decreased levels of cortisol, a measure of stress, suggesting “hands-on petting of cats and dogs provides momentary stress relief.” (3)

Researchers with Indiana University School of Medicine similarly found that even five minutes of interaction with a therapy dog helps lower stress levels in physicians and nurses working in an ER. (4) Therapy dogs have been found to help people reduce not only stress but also pain, anxiety and anger, while increasing feelings of support and comfort. Simply petting a dog is likely to offer benefits to your mood, as this act is shown to lowers stress and increases levels of a feel-good hormone, oxytocin. (5)

 

Sources and References

1 PLOS One October 5, 2022

2 Scimex October 6, 2022

3 AERA Open June 12, 2019 Volume: 5 issue: 2

4 Academic Emergency Medicine April 7, 2020

5 Johns Hopkins Medicine, The Friend Who Keeps You Young

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