Research has consistently shown that animals, particularly dogs, provide psychological benefits for humans—although the exact reasons are not known. “It’s a popular topic right now,” says Lori Kogan, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University and editor of The Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, the journal of the American Psychological Association’s group dedicated to that topic.
“People are trying to validate what people already know: that animals make us feel better.” As researchers attempt to parse out why and how animal-assisted therapy works on the human brain, debate continues about if pets should be considered a valid healthcare treatment or disability issue.
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