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Dogs Reduce Anxiety In Children, Study

Update Date: Nov 30, 2015 10:35 AM EST

A pet is a great way to reduce anxiety.

That is something that you were never anxious about anyway. But now a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. has found out what you've always known.

There is almost a 10 percent difference in the rates of anxiety between pet owners and those who do not keep animals, said The Huffington Post.

The study further showed that only 12 percent of children who kept dogs were able to demonstrate the "threshold requirements for anxiety". On the other extreme were those who did not keep dogs, in which the threshold requirement went up to 21 percent of children without dogs.

It was the research teams from Basset Medical Center in New York, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Dartmouth Medical School that examined the issue, by looking at children aged 6 and 7 years, indicating that those kids who have pet dogs get less worried than others. It took 18 months to study 643 children, finally showing a definite link between clinical anxiety in kids and dogs at home.

But while it has been concluded that "companionship with a pet can alleviate separation anxiety and strengthen attachment," there has not been enough study or evidence to arrive at a clear conclusion on the issue. "From a mental health standpoint, children aged seven to eight often ranked pets higher than humans as providers of comfort and self-esteem and as confidants," the researchers said.

It is not clear whether dogs are the cause of a good effect on mental health or whether "other factors associated with acquisition of a pet dog" have led to the results.

"There is a very strong bond between children and their pets," Dr. Anna Gadomski, one of the researchers, told NBC News.

While dogs have always been service animals for humans, they are now becoming of greater use in other ways. On the one hand they have been employed to bring down allergies and asthma, while on the other therapy dogs can treat PTSD with improved results.

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