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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

National Puppy Day and the Health Benefits of Pets

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Flickr user Jonathan Kriz (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
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Sir Walter Scott wrote, “I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?” I think most dog owners would agree with this statement.

Today is National Puppy Day.

Adopting a puppy can often be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, that has health benefits as well. A Harvard Medical School Special Report entitled “Get Healthy, Get a Dog” was published in 2014 and details how owning a dog can prompt you to be more physically active and can also help you be calmer, more mindful, and more present in your life.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology states that “children raised with pets show many benefits. Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child's self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive relationships with pets can aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. A good relationship with a pet can also help in developing non-verbal communication, compassion, and empathy.” The American Academy of Pediatrics found ???????children who have a dog during the first year of life are reported to be healthier and have fewer respiratory infections than children without contact to these animals.

While all pets are good for your health, The Humane Society reminds us that adopting a dog can give you an extra boost because in addition to providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need!

Resources:
http://www.nationalpuppyday.com/about
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/get-healthy-get-a-dog
http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Pets-And-Children-075.aspx
https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Children-With-Early-Contact-With-Dogs-and-Cats-Are-Healthier.aspx
http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/adopt/tips/top_reasons_adopt.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
http://www.semopets.org/
 

Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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