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Cats or dogs? Scientists determine what pets reduce stress and dementia risk

Cats or dogs? Scientists determine what pets reduce stress and dementia risk Scientists determine what pets reduce stress and dementia risk (

Scientists have determined interacting with pets, cats or dogs, is better for reducing stress, increasing concentration, and lowering the risk of dementia.

RBC-Ukraine explains how exactly pets impact people and stimulate brain activity.

Sources: ScienceDirect, Science Focus, ScienceDaily.

How pets impact people

According to research conducted by Japanese scientists, cats and dogs significantly impact the quality of life.

Their presence not only improves mood but also stimulates brain activity.

Dog owners also have a much lower risk of developing dementia (a syndrome that affects brain function) compared to cat owners or people without pets.

Another study conducted at Konkuk University in South Korea determined that interacting with dogs positively affects overall brain activity, reduces stress levels, and increases concentration.

How dogs stimulate human brain

Electroencephalograms of people participating in a study showed that during walks, caring for, or playing with dogs, the brain activity of participants significantly changed:

  • The number of alpha waves associated with a relaxed and calm state, positive emotions increases.
  • Beta waves are activated, indicating increased attention and concentration without stress.
  • Cognitive abilities improve, especially in the elderly.
  • Blood pressure decreases, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • The hormone of happiness and love oxytocin improves production.

Why dog owners have better health

Researchers believe that dogs encourage people to lead a more active lifestyle and engage in social interactions. Dog owners:

  • regularly walk outdoors;
  • are physically more active;
  • have better muscle tone;
  • have more social contacts;
  • have higher stress resilience;
  • get positive emotions from interacting with animals.

Some scientists speculate that healthier people start owning dogs from the beginning, as they have the energy for daily walks and socializing. However, such a correlation was not found within the mentioned studies.

Who benefits most from interacting with dogs

Based on the information from the studies, experts concluded that regular interaction with dogs can be particularly beneficial for people who:

  • suffer from depression;
  • have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • feel loneliness or isolation;
  • live in stressful conditions.

Moreover, interacting with dogs increases feelings of responsibility and even gives some a sense of purpose for further active living.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.