Study Says How Pets Improve Mental health and Boost Mood

Evidences suggest that how interaction with pets affect cortisol level among college students. Pet owners spending time with their beloved animals can boost their mood and lower stress level.

A review done by Medical News Today concluded that people who are living with mental illness grabbed psychological benefit or emotional comfort while spending time with their pet companion.

Additionally it concluded that pets should be part of medical care condition to improve the mental health and well being.

A new study published in the journal AERA OPEN, added more credibility to the claims. The researcher Patricia Pendry, Jaymie L. Vandagriff, an associate professor in the department of Human Development at Washington State University in Pulman analyzed the effects of pets on human’s psychological conditions.

How Study Proved It

How Study Proved It

For this researchers admitted 249 college students and divide then into four groups:

  • In one group, people were free to spend time with their beloved dogs for 10 minutes
  • In another, people were playing with dogs while they were waiting for their turn
  • Another group included those people who watched a slideshow of animals.
  • The fourth group sat aside and waited in silence.

Patricia and Jaymie tested their cortisol level and collected the samples of participant’s saliva both in the morning and after the intervention.

In the conclusion, researchers stated that participants who interacted with animals had lower cortisol level after the intervention. Additionally, it concluded that effects stimulated regardless of whether the participant’s cortisol level were high or low at the start of study.

“Students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone,” reports study co-author Pendry.

She adds, “We already knew that students enjoy interacting with animals, and that it helps them experience more positive emotions.

What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way. And it did, which is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health.” According to Patricia Pandry.

“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact,” adds Pendry, but she and her colleagues now plan to examine the effect of a similar 4-week program, in which animals would hopefully help relieve stress. The preliminary results are promising.