Therapy Dogs Benefit Kids With ADHD, Says Science

Therapy dogs offer children and adults a host of benefits, which is why places like Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, recently hired their own full-time helping pup. But research suggests that therapy dogs can actually benefit kids with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), as reported by The Bark.


Though therapy dogs have been used to help kids with this ADHD for a long time, this study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders also took anecdotal factors into account, something similar research had not looked at in years. One of the most important findings was that the kids who interacted with therapy dogs had greater improvement in social skills and attention than kids whose treatment did not; therapy dog-assisted children also had fewer behavior problems than the kids receiving standard treatment.



What the researchers also note is that while a therapy dog is a promising means of treatment for children with ADHD, it is by no means the only treatment a parent or guardian should try with his or her own child. “These results suggest that canine-assisted intervention offers a novel therapeutic strategy that may enhance traditional evidence-based interventions for children with impairment from the core symptoms of ADHD,” wrote lead researcher Sabrina Schuck.


Just add this to the already-long list of why kids and dogs truly go together like peas and carrots.


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Rachel Zoldan

Rachel Jacoby Zoldan is a freelance writer and editor living in New York City with her husband two cats, Gerry and Cookie. (Who are, yes, named after a film about dogs.)

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