How Pets Benefit Our Brains with RNZ's Sunday Morning

I spoke with Jim Mora about how pets can benefit people and other new research on dogs and cats.

Exercise is one of the ways people can benefit from living with a dog. Photo shows a man walking his two dogs through a forest
Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

By Zazie Todd PhD

I joined Jim Mora on Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning to talk about some recent news articles that cover research that finds that pets can have benefits for people. Or in one case that we discuss near the end of the interview, potentially have a detrimental effect (but you'll be glad to know more research is needed).

Amongst other things, we talk about the way that dogs can encourage adults to get their daily exercise and can encourage girls to do more physical activity. And another study looks at the cognitive benefits of having a pet for seniors who live alone.

We also talk about the lifespan of various breeds of dog and the factors that affect it.

You can listen to the recording here: How pets benefit our brains.

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Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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