Family Pets: Studies Reveal That Dogs Can Effectively Help Alleviate A Child's Anxiety

Pets are not only known for being a man's best friend, but the furry pals are also great in helping children cope with anxiety. Dogs, in general, are ideal for helping a person cope with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Help Guide explains that taking care of pets in general help relieve depression, stress, and anxiety. As per NBC News, a small study was done which focused on 643 kids ages between 6 and 7. Their team, located in Bassett Medical Center in New York found out that 12 percent of children with pet dogs are tested positive for clinical anxiety, unlike the 21 percent of children without a dog.

Dr. Anne Gadomski and her team then wrote in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Stating:

"It may be that less anxious children have pet dogs or pet dogs make children less anxious," Dr. Anne Gadomski stated on their journal. "From a mental health standpoint, children aged 7 to 8 often ranked pets higher than humans as providers of comfort and self-esteem and as confidants, animal-assisted therapy with dogs affects children's mental health and developmental disorders by reducing anxiety and arousal or enhancing attachment, because dogs follow human communicative cues, they may be particularly effective agents for children's emotional development."

They then added that pets have the capacity to relive several areas in a child's life that are triggered by anxiety. She stated that dogs effectively helps alleviate separation anxiety in young children.

"Sometimes their first word is the name of their pet, there is a very strong bond between children and their pets."

In addition to their statement in regards to having a child's anxiety relieved, their studies revealed that playing and cuddling with their pet dog induces the brain to produce a hormone "oxytocin". It also lowers the stress hormone known as cortisol.

Dr. Gadomski then noted that this research is only applicable to dogs in terms of the scope of their research. As a parent, what are your thoughts on having dogs as a pet?

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