petting puppies lifts mood

by April Durrett on Sep 01, 2004

Mind-Body-Spirit News

When clients are feeling stressed or down, they may want to pet their dogs—or borrow their friends’ canine companions! In an ongoing study, a University of Missouri (MU)-Columbia researcher has found that interacting with animals creates a hormonal response in humans that can help fight depression.

“Our preliminary results indicate that levels of serotonin, a hormone in humans that helps fight depression, rise dramatically after interaction with live animals, specifically dogs,” said Rebecca Johnson, MU professor of nursing and veterinary medicine, who presented these initial findings at the Companion Animals: Fountains of Health conference at Barcelona Autonomous University. “This hormone is critical in the psychological well- being of an individual.”

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About the Author

April Durrett IDEA Author/Presenter

April Durrett is a contributing editor for IDEA Fitness Journal.