Dr. Sandra Barker, a professor of psychiatry and director of the School of Medicine Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University , studies what happens psychologically to humans when they interact with dogs.
In an interview with EarthSky , Barker revealed her findings in her 2009 study, in which people's brain waves were tested before and after spending time with a dog.
She reported that she saw an increase in certain frequencies that correlate with a state of relaxation, in addition to a decrease in cortisol - the human stress hormone - after her subjects interacted with a dog.
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.