The Power of Pets: Having an Animal to Love Provides Health Benefits

If you’ve ever thought that your dog can sense when you’re stressed or struggling, new research says your suspicions are likely true.

A new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that dogs can detect stress in humans. In fact, researchers found that dogs detected the changes with more than 90% accuracy.

The dogs identified changes in human breath and sweat associated with stress. Samples were collected from study participants before and after a fast-paced, stress-reducing math activity. Other measures of stress including heart rate and blood pressure were also analyzed.

An estimated 68% of U.S. households have a pet. And while pets can be a lot of work – and not every pet is a perfect fit for every family – most pet owners would agree that their pet brings additional happiness to their lives.