Cuddling a dog is good for your mental health, a study confirms it

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There is nothing like an exchange of tenderness with a dog to regain morale. A new study has just scientifically confirmed the mental health benefits that canine hugs can provide. Nearly 300 students participated.”

Everyone who has a dog knows it; petting, kissing and cuddling your pet gives him a lot of pleasure and comfort. It’s also good for yourself. A study confirms this, as reported by People on Tuesday, August 17.”

It was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, Western Canada. This work is led by Dr. John-Tyler Binfet, who also leads the BARK program. The latter aims to fight against school and university dropout through dogs.”

We know that spending time with therapy dogs is beneficial, but we didn’t know why,” Says Dr. Binfet in a statement.


284 undergraduate students participated in this study. Their mental state was measured before and then after meeting a service dog trained through the BARK program. They were asked to rate their feelings and experiences (positive and negative feelings, stress, happiness, homesyness, loneliness, integration into the campus community…), in order to know their level of well-being.”

Participants were subjected to one of these 3 types of sessions: canine interaction, interaction with or without touch, meeting with a dog handler (without the therapy dog).”

The results indicate that participants in the 3 conditions experienced an improvement in their well-being on several measures; however, only those in direct contact [with the dog] reported significant improvements on all welfare measures, the statement said. In addition, direct interactions with touch therapy dogs have brought greater benefits for well-being than the absence of tactile interactions or interactions with only a dog handler.”

” Dogs, a surefire way to reduce stress

Conclusions that lead Dr. Binfet to recommend to other schools to conduct a canine assistance program similar to his BARK, in order to help students integrate and better live their university experience. An approach that could be all the more beneficial as they prepare to resume face-to-face classes in this context of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

For the researcher, hugs and interactions with dogs are a surefire way to reduce stress.”

Read also: An 8-month-old puppy collected in a shelter, 11 years later he is still waiting for a family!”


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