Feb 20, 2019
The NIH/Mars Partnership is funding a range of studies focused on the relationships we have with animals. For example, researchers are looking into how animals might influence #child #development. They’re studying animal interactions with kids who have #autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (#ADHD), and other conditions.
Kids who read to the real animals showed better social skills and more sharing, cooperation, and volunteering. They also had fewer #behavioralproblems.
At the #MissouriHumaneSociety, the #ShelterBuddiesReadingProgram pairs kids age 6 to 15 with shy dogs to prepare them for life in a forever home. After completing a 10 hour training program, the kids sit in front of a dog’s kennel and read to them from a book.
Recent studies suggest that early exposure to pets may help protect young children from developing #allergies and #asthma. Caring for a pet can help children grow up more secure and active or provide valuable companionship for older adults.
It’s been challenging to keep our dogs from jumping on me but it’s been healing to feel their love too. Archer is the white boxer-bulldog and Violet is the caramel pittbull-terrier. Both of these mutts were rescued and have brought immense #joy to our home.
Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) increase the production of #serotonin and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your #mood.