Research Shows Petting Dogs Is Good For Your Brain


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There’s something about petting a dog that feels therapeutic. It just seems hard to stay mad or upset while petting a dog and getting some good ol’ fashion pet cuddles.

As it turns out, there’s now research to back the idea that petting a dog has a positive impact on our brains!


A study, titled “Effects of contact with a dog on prefrontal brain activity: A controlled trial,” was published in the journal Plus One earlier this year.

In the study, researchers used brain scans to see the difference that occurred when test subjects pet a real dog vs. a stuffed dog, and the results were staggering.


Participants who were petting real dogs had a notable boost in brain activity, namely in the frontal cortex area. That area of the brain is associated with how we think and feel and can help impact mood in a big way.

So, while we didn’t need science to tell us what we already knew, it’s nice to have some research to back it up.


The next time you want to spend time petting your dog when you could be doing other stuff, you can let yourself relax and pet your pup knowing it’s better for your mental health. We could all use a mental health day every now and again and our pets would love that too!

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