A new study has just confirmed that dogs help people dealing with anxiety – especially children
The research, published in Preventing Chronic Disease journal, involved studying 643 children aged six and seven and all enrolled in a pediatric primary care clinic in New York.
The parents of those children were surveyed on their kids’ general health, BMI, and daily habits, and in the midst of all the data, researchers noticed an interesting pattern.
Of the 58% of the children who had a dog in their home, only 12% were likely to experience childhood anxiety, versus 21% of the children who didn’t have dogs.
The researchers checked that this pattern wasn’t caused by other variables, such as the income level of the children’s family (as those with a higher income would be more likely to own a dog), and saw that the correlation held up.
This could mean that dogs make kids significantly less anxious, and could help them deal with anxiety in later life.
Which makes sense, really, considering the power of therapy dogs to soothe those dealing with stress, and the general emotional greatness of spending time with a dog.
The researchers suggest that dogs encourage kids to be more social and engaged, as having a pet can ‘stimulate conversation’, breaking the ice and making it easier to speak to others.
In short: dogs are the best. Puppies for everyone.