Dogs provide a benefit to kids for reducing anxiety.
Researchers say :a new study shows kids who live in a home with a pet dog score far lower on clinical measures of anxiety”.
It’s a small stud that was, focusing on 643 kids between 6 and 7. The team at Bassett Medical Center in New York found that just 12 percent of children with pet dogs tested positive for clinical anxiety, compared to 21 percent of children without a dog.
Dr. Anne Gadomski and colleagues wrote in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease says “It may be that less anxious children have pet dogs or pet dogs make children less anxious,”
It’s not an entirely surprising finding. Pet dogs can also benefit adults and federal health officials recommend that adults consider getting a dog. For one thing, they can encourage people to exercise. Gadomski was aware of just how special pets can be to a child.
She told NBC News”Sometimes their first word is the name of their pet,”.
And the researchers asked parents for specific details about what type of anxiety a child showed.
Significant differences between groups were found for the separation anxiety component (‘My child is afraid to be alone in the house’) and social anxiety component (‘My child is shy’) favoring pet ownership. Most of the families in the study – 73 percent – had a pet of some kind. Most – 58 percent – had dogs. Families with pets may be more stable and may be more affluent, but the researchers suggest there’s more to it than that.Other studies also have shown that playing or cuddling with a dog can release the bonding hormone oxytocin, and lower the stress hormone cortisol, they noted. Gadomski noted her team looked at dogs because there’s so much research about them. It doesn’t mean that cats can’t do the same thing.