Bringing your dog to work lowers stress, study says

Bringing your dog to work can reduce stress, according to a new study.</p>

Bringing your dog to work can reduce stress, according to a new study.

Researchers reported that bringing your dog to work seems to reduce stress on the job.

"Pet presence potentially can be a low-cost wellness intervention," said Randolph Barker, a professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University's business school, who led the study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

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Barker and his team conducted the study at Replacements Ltd., a company that sells china, stoneware, crystal and other dinnerware, reported the Los Angeles Times. Replacements Ltd.'s 550 employees bring 20 to 30 dogs with them to their Greensboro, N.C., office every day.

Stress hormones were measured using saliva samples throughout the day, according to BBC News. There was no difference between the three groups (pet owners who brought their dogs to work, pet owners who left their dogs at home, at non-pet owners) in the morning, but during the course of the workday, stress levels declined only for employees with their dogs present. Researchers also noted that stress rose significantly during the day when owners left their dogs at home compared to days they brought them to work.

Many previous studies have linked pets with less stress and better health, according to TIME. Studies in hospitals and nursing homes showed that animals, whether on short or long visits, have contributed to lower blood pressure, faster recovery from surgery and improvements in depression for patients.