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Petting dogs improve the thinking skills of stressed students

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petting dogs improve the thinking skills of stressed students

For college students under pressure, a dog can be the best stress fighter.

Programs that focused solely on petting dogs were more effective in improving thinking and planning skills in stressed students than programs that included traditional stress management information, according to a new study from Washington State University.

The study was published on May 12 in the journal AERA Open, an expert-reviewed journal for the American Educational Research Association. The paper showed that stressed students still exhibited these cognitive skills for up to six weeks after completing the four-week program.

“It’s a really powerful finding,” said Patricia Pendry, associate professor in the human development department at WSU. “Universities do a lot of great work to help students achieve academic success, especially those at risk due to a history of mental health problems or academic and learning problems. This study shows that traditional stress management approaches are not as effective for this population as programs that focus on providing ways to interact with therapy dogs. “

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The researchers measured the executive function of the 309 students participating in the study. Executive function is a term used to describe the skills needed to plan, organize, motivate, focus, and remember, “All of the great cognitive skills required to be successful in college,” said Pendry.

Pendry conducted this study as a result of previous work that found that petting animals for as little as 10 minutes had physiological effects and reduced student stress in the short term.

In the three-year study, students were randomly assigned to one of three academic stress management programs that have different combinations of human-animal interaction and proven academic stress management. The dogs and volunteers were provided by Palouse Paws, a local subsidiary of Pet Partners, a national organization with over 10,000 therapy teams.

“The results have been very strong,” said Pendry. “We saw that students who were most at risk had the most improvements in leadership in the state of human-animal interaction. These results were retained when we followed up six weeks later. “

Many universities, including WSU, have offered academic stress management programs and workshops for many years. These are traditionally very similar to college classes, where students listen to an expert, watch slideshows, and take notes. These are often evidence-based courses that talk about ways to get more sleep, set goals, or manage stress or anxiety.

“These are really important topics, and these workshops help typical students succeed by teaching them how to deal with stress,” Pendry said. “Interestingly, our results suggest that these types of educational workshops are less effective for students with difficulty. It seems that the students experience these programs as one more lecture, which is exactly what makes the students feel stressed. “

Human-animal interaction programs help by letting students relax in difficulty while they talk and reflect on their stressors. By petting animals, they tend to relax and cope with these stressors rather than being overwhelmed. This improves students’ ability to think, set goals, become motivated, focus, and remember what they are learning, Pendry said.

“When you are stressed, you cannot think or absorb information. Learning to stress is stressful! ” She said.

Animal meetings are not just about changing behavior. They help students engage in positive thoughts and actions.

“You can’t just learn math when you’re cold,” Pendry said. “But when you look at the ability to study, to get involved, to focus, and to take a test, then it’s very powerful to have the animal aspect. Being calm is helpful for learning, especially for those struggling with stress and learning. “

Pendry conducted the study with the support of WSU alumni Alexa Carr and Jaymie Vandagriff and Nancy Gee, professor and director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The study was supported by a grant from the joint research program WALTHAM Human-Animal Interaction.

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Dog Breeds

How to give a name to a dog

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how to give a name to a dog

Dog name selection can be a source of conflict for couples. It doesn’t matter if you like Jack and your partner wants to go with Jake, or if one of you likes Wren and the other likes Robin. Similarities can even exist if there is a choice between bogey and divot or perhaps inverse and vector. But what if one is killer or Gamora and the other is betting on Baby or Zoe? These differences can be more difficult to resolve.

Enter Dogname, a new app that helps people choose (with minimal scramble) the perfect name for their dog. Each of the app’s 30,000 names is listed with their meanings and origins, and users go through as many entries as they want, swiping right if they like the name and left if they don’t. The names that both people like are saved as matches, making it easy to choose a mutually acceptable nickname.

I’ve seen the results of many, what to call the dog, fights, and they’re not always beautiful. A couple could not agree on the type of dog or the name of the dog when they got it. They solved their fight (and it turned out to be quite a fight!) By tossing a coin; the winner chose the dog’s name and the other person chose the dog. As a result, they ended up with a tiny fluffy dog ​​named Thor – a dog-name mismatch that made people laugh when they met him.

In a similar but happier story, another couple decided that one person chose the dog and the other the name, but they were both happy with the result. They welcomed a 170 pound English mastiff into their family and named it chiclet. They loved it when people who might have been suspicious of their huge dog felt a lot more comfortable with her because of her non-threatening name.

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In 1997 two astronomy fans were very excited about the appearance of the Hale Bopp comet. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to name the puppy they wanted to have in honor of the record-breaking fireball. But from that common ground they got into a big argument over whether to call her Halley or Comet. (Hale did not consider Hale, Bopp, or Hale-Bopp as a suitable option.)

After weeks of bickering, unable to resolve their disagreements, they adopted two female littermates, named one Halley and the other Comet. The dogs fought each other until they caused serious injuries. The dispute over the name of the couple led to more conflicts in the household than was thought possible.

Sometimes compromises lead to a good dog name. One person in a pair wanted to go with Hershey or Cocoa for their chocolate lab pup, but the other worried that those names were too common or too popular with that breed. But they both loved cooking and also loved the idea of ​​a food name, so they named their pup Rosemary.

Another couple argues over the names Max and Xavier. The first person liked the meaning of Max (“greatest”), but the other wanted a name that began with the letter X, badly. They eventually agreed to name their dog Xander, a greeting to Alexander the Great who pleased both of them.

I love a happy ending that is based on compromise! Do you have a story about how your family came up with the name for your dog after some friction during the decision-making process?

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Dog Breeds

Help for your dog’s dry skin

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help for your dog's dry skin

It is a rare person who can lie in bed and listen to a dog scratching, scratching, scratching and not thinking at night or maybe even saying, “Will you please stop!” Get rid of your dog’s dry skin and flakes from the inside out by adding one of two staple foods – olive oil or coconut oil – to their meals. It can even help both of you sleep better. (Fish oil is another excellent option.)

Dogs have many reasons to scratch themselves, but if your dog does it more often than occasionally – all dogs scratch every now and then – you should call your veterinarian first, who can help you figure out what’s causing the itch. There are at least three possibilities, which sometimes overlap: environmental influences (low humidity, dry room heat in winter), allergies (food, pollen) or parasites (fleas, ticks or, more rarely, mites). An example of a two-tier reason: dogs with flea allergies are extremely sensitive to the presence of a few small pests on their skin.

It may take some time to figure out what is causing the scratching, but two things that can provide some relief are likely in your kitchen right now: olive oil and coconut oil. When it comes to oils that help moisturize a dog’s dry, flaky skin, check out one of these oils and consider changing them regularly to give your dog the benefits of each.

They’re both high in the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) that dogs need to help maintain oil production and skin hydration (and much more). The body needs EFAs to function but cannot make them; they must be obtained from food.

Fortunately, dogs tend to love the taste of oil, so adding it to their meals is an easy way to get it into their system. And be patient; It may take some time for the oil regimen to take effect.

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Once the container is opened, oils exposed to heat and light can go rancid, so follow the recommended storage guidelines for the product. If your kitchen is routinely warmer than about 70 degrees, consider cooling the oil.

Adding an oil to your dog’s meal isn’t a panacea or magic solution, but it can help improve your dog’s overall health – not to mention glossier fur and fewer nightly scratching sessions.

Olive oil for dogs

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the best choice for dogs. Cold-pressed, unrefined and made from the first olive pressing, it is less acidic than more processed forms of olive oil and therefore gentler on the dog’s digestive system. It also has higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants. Dogs who may have difficulty digesting omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids usually get along well with olive oil. Aside from its ability to repair dry, flaky skin and make your dog’s coat shine, olive oil can also stimulate their appetite and help with constipation.

Olive oil can go rancid quickly, which is why it is sold in dark bottles. Keep it in a cool, dark place away from heat sources (not on a sunny counter or near the stove).

Daily dose guidelines *

Small dogs, 1/2 teaspoon; medium dogs, 1 teaspoon; big dogs, 2 teaspoons; extra large dogs, 1 tablespoon

Coconut oil for dogs

You probably have coconut oil in your pantry too. It’s high in saturated fat, and its medium-chain triglycerides and medium-chain fatty acids, which are quickly absorbed, are said to help with a number of medical conditions.

Based on research done primarily on humans and rodents, it is believed that consuming coconut oil eliminates various types of skin problems, including itchy or dry skin; Minimize odors; reduce allergic reactions; and treatment of yeast and fungal infections.

Like olive oil, the best coconut oils for dogs are organic, virgin, and cold-pressed. This oil comes in a variety of flavors – strong, buttery, mild, nutty – and you may need to experiment to see which your dog prefers with their food. (Some dogs are put off by a strong coconut flavor.)

Coconut oil can be added to the food or – if the area is particularly dry or itchy – massaged directly into the dog’s skin. When applied topically, be very conservative in the amount you use and supervise your dog afterwards until the oil is absorbed. Your dog will likely try to lick it off, and too much coconut oil at once can have consequences (see info box). Plus, you know the potential for stained floors and bedding.

Daily dose guidelines * (gradually introduce)

Note: If your dog is prone to pancreatitis, check with your veterinarian before adding him to his food.

Small dogs, 1/4 teaspoon; medium / large dogs, 1/2 to 2 teaspoons; extra large dogs, 1 tablespoon.

Fish oil for dogs

While not your ordinary pantry item, fish oil is a must-have nutritional supplement that is believed to aid dog heart health, reduce itching and flaking, and relieve allergies and joint pain. When choosing a fish oil for your dog, check with the manufacturer for their certificate of analysis. A mix of salmon, herring, sardines, and other small fish provides the most omega-3 fatty acids and the longest shelf life.

Note the following: Fish oil can increase blood clotting time. So if your dog needs surgery, tell your veterinarian about this supplement; the vet may ask you to pause for a few days before and after the procedure.

Finally, one more good reason to speak to your vet before giving your dog any supplements: processing fish oil can cause the dog’s system to use up its supply of vitamin E. This can lead to a deficiency that brings its own problems. Ask your veterinarian if this is a concern for your dog.

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Dog Breeds

How to Socialize Your Puppy

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how to socialize your puppy

I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant, but I do have a feeling that Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CCUI, and Eileen Anderson, MM, MS, is about reading and recommended by many dog ​​professionals and dog lovers eager to get the word out.

The writers had me on “Remember, there is a human tendency to want to show the world your pups, but it’s not the same thing as showing your pup the world! Avoid the temptation to let your pup become a magnet for human attention. The last thing you want to do is let him overwhelm and frighten. “

The book – an e-book available on multiple platforms – provides equally useful information and ideas throughout, and both novice and professional puppy breeders will benefit from its guidance and advice. It teaches people everything they need to know about puppy socialization in order for them to develop into the best possible versions of their canine selves. And with 120 photos and video links, not only is this book practical and helpful, it’s also fun to read.

Socialization as a concept is often misunderstood, and this confusion prevents our pups from starting off properly. After reading this book, people will understand what socialization is (and what isn’t) and learn to properly socialize their puppy.

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Rogers and Anderson do their readers a great service by showing them how to socialize dogs through photos and videos. Learning the right way to get puppy on the right paw is much easier by seeing it and reading about it. The videos, most of which are from actual training sessions with puppies and their owners, are practical and useful in ways new puppy owners will want.

The reason socialization is so important is easier to understand when you consider what happens to puppies who are not socialized. Anderson writes, “I had my own wild pup who was born in the forest and not exposed to humans in any way. I got in at the very end of their sensitive phase of socialization, but no one else. Since then we’ve been playing catch-up. … Your deeply ingrained reaction to people other than me is complete and persistent fear. “

Anderson is the first to recognize that her dog is an extreme version of what can happen when a dog is not socialized. It is likely that a combination of genetics along with limited early experience has made life especially difficult for this particular dog. But it’s hard to avoid the thought that your dog’s life might have ended badly in someone else’s hands … and quickly.

Puppy socialization includes a clear explanation of the magical time – known as the sensitive time for socialization – when puppies are prepared to learn new things. This only lasts for a short time in the first few months of life, so it is important to maximize this opportunity. It will save you and your puppy from trouble or even heartache later.

This new treasure of a book also covers dog body language so readers can learn to tell whether their pup is relaxed or tense, happy or nervous, anxious or comfortable. This knowledge is essential to socializing a puppy, but few books cover it in the puppy context.

In fact, this chapter on dog body language is relevant to all owners, regardless of their dog’s age. For example, most people do not know that a dog that is yawning can show symptoms of anxiety and anxiety. Or that when a dog shows its stomach, it doesn’t always ask for a stomach rub. Understanding dog body language improves the bond between dogs and the people they love.

When asked why they contained so much information about reading dog visual cues, Anderson replied, “For us, this is the missing part because so many people don’t know how to read the mean or very subtle cues of how to do it your dog feels. If you can’t tell [that] Your puppy is scared you’re in trouble. You risk frightening him instead of teaching him that the world is a wonderful and fun place for puppies. “

The authors also counter all of the bad puppy socialization advice with lots of fact-based information. Myth Destruction is a great service, and the writers do it well by helping readers (and their dogs) avoid the consequences of harmful myths and falsehoods. In fact, according to Rogers, this bad advice was the inspiration to write this book in the first place.

“We all have different memories of who said the word ‘book’ first, but we wrote it because our hearts ached when we saw people follow traditional advice and it made their pups worse.” An example for the traditional advice Rogers is referring to is to suggest taking your pup anywhere and exposing him to anything. It is one of the myths about socialization that is counterproductive to its proper execution.

This book is a truly modern book with the most up-to-date information on the subject and offers strategies for safely socializing puppies during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as during normal times. Pandemic puppies have spent a lot of time with their families, but public health protocols have limited their socialization options to varying degrees.

Many behavioral problems are avoided if people follow the socialization advice in this book. Many of the dogs that I observe in my private practice as a canine behavior therapist and dog trainer could have been spared the challenges they face in life if they had been properly socialized. I hope that this book will be widely read and that its advice will be followed. It’s the perfect resource for anyone involved in raising well-adjusted, happy puppies, and it’s good news to have it published.

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