Ask Dr. Joy: For the love of a puppy

By WEEK Producer

May 29, 2013 Updated May 29, 2013 at 9:48 PM CDT

For the love of a puppy. Some may say there is nothing better than puppy breath, or playing with a new little pup and taking them for their first walk in the park.

Tonight we will look at some fun research about the power of puppies.

The power of puppies? What does that mean?
* Americans have reported owing over 75 million dogs and almost 40 percent of us have at least one dog states the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
* Having a pet has shown to help people live healthier and longer.
* Having a pet has been proven to lower depression and assist us with anxiety.

What does research show?
* The American Psychological Association shows that pets are an important source of social and emotional support.
* Pet owners are as close to their animals as they are to people around them but that doesn’t mean that those with pets have poorer relationships with humans- in fact it may be better.
*A Miami University in Ohio study showed those who had pets had greater self esteem, were more physically fit, and were less lonely, and more extroverted. They tended to be more conscientious and less fearful.
* Medicare patients who owned pets have fewer MD appoints and HIV patients who owned pets were less depressed than those without.
* Other research showed that pet owners had greater feelings of belonging, self esteem and meaning in their lives.
* Those with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations, lower cholesterol levels, and survive longer from heart attacks.
* Pets provide companionship, undying acceptance, love and make you feel needed and wanted.
* Pets have been shown to help you connect with people and are a stimulus for conversation with others.

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