If you have a canine friend running around your house, you've probably experienced firsthand the research-proven health benefits of dog ownership. And now physicians are making the most of those benefits when prescribing treatments, too...
When you pet a dog, your body is flooded with oxytocin, otherwise known as the "cuddle hormone." The hormone makes you feel lovey and more bonded--and it may even make wounds heal faster.
Petting a dog (and sometimes even just seeing a dog, according to research) results in lowered blood pressure and less stress and anxiety.
So when it comes to treating anxiety and depression, some doctors are forgoing the meds as a first step and prescribing pets, instead. There's even evidence that people who own dogs require fewer trips to the doctor for other ailments--20% fewer, as a matter of fact! Woof to that!