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Sheffield, UK
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The Cure for Obesity, Heart Disease, and Anxiety? Puppies!

As someone who lives with and works with a dog how could I not put this article out?

We have a lot of understanding why having a pet in your life has positive health benefits. We know for example dog owners tend to live 4 1/2 years longer than non-dog owners.

However let’s be clear. It’s perfectly possible to have an animal in your life and not get the benefits. If you bring a pet into your home, and feel resentful it is a burden and don’t engage with it then clearly you’re not going to get the benefits. A good guiding principle can be if both of you and the animal are not benefiting then it’s not likely to work for you.

Here’s a collection of reasons why it is beneficial.

  • We are social creatures, so interacting with another creature triggers those areas in our brain that tend to give our lives more meaning.
  • The process of caring seems to activate parts of the brain, such as compassion, that have been shown to be very beneficial to us.
  • The very act of gently and smoothly stroking the pet actually causes your brain to calm down. I know this effect very well as it is one of the components of the Havening therapy that I work with. The slow rhythmic stroking over the palms causes a particular brainwave to increase. Although with clients generally it’s not stroking the pet, having said that my guide dog is usually with me and I have at times with a client who is having a hard time, left them stroking my dog whilst the therapy went on.

Anyhow do you need any more excuses to get a dog?

This featured article is written by Satesh Bidaisee,  a professor of public health and preventative medicine and assistant dean for graduate studies at St. George’s University in Grenada.

The cure for obesity, heart disease, and anxiety? Puppies!

Researchers just discovered a simple way to fight obesity, heart disease, and mental illness – by giving people puppies. That may sound barking mad. But a new round of medical research shows that dogs, cats, and other four-legged friends can significantly boost people’s physical and mental health – to the point where interacting with pets can actually be an effective form of therapy.

 

 

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