Owning a dog could benefit your mental health.
Pedigree Australia has released a video in which dog owners and their pups have their heart rates monitored to see what kinds of effects they have on one another.
The video shows that when humans and hounds are around each another both species' heartbeats have a nice, calm rhythm.
The advert then claims that this test is proof that dogs can calm anxiety and stress. But it this all just a shaggy dog story?
“Although the video only showed a few instances of synchronous heart rates between owners and their dogs, it demonstrates what has been shown in other studies, that dogs can reduce stress in their owners,” Elizabeth A. Stone, a professor at Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, told The Huffington Post.
But Stone was quick to add: “All of the examples in the video showed people who were very attuned to their dog as was the dog to them. These results might be different if the owner was somewhat indifferent to the dog or the dog was ill-trained and caused increased stress to the owner. For instance, some people wouldn't want a dog jumping up on them as was shown in the video.”
A study conducted by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that kids who have a dog at home had a decreased probability of childhood anxiety. According to Harvard Medical School, dogs -- and other pets -- not only help with anxiety, but have also been proven to improve self-esteem, lower blood pressure, improve recovery from heart disease and even reduce rates of asthma and allergy in children who grow up with a fuzz ball in their home.
So maybe it’s not a bunch of fluff after all.