Man's Best Friend Helps Human Interaction - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/11/02

Man's Best Friend Helps Human Interaction

You've heard people call a dog "man's best friend." A new study finds that bonding with a pet can actually help people be friendlier with other humans -- especially for kids. The responsibility of pet ownership can help them develop empathy for others as they get older.

"While they're learning that responsibility toward the pet, that also translates to people, and they learn how to take care of other people and be responsible for other people in certain ways and also to be empathic toward other people," says Fredric Desmond, University of Florida Psychology Researcher.

According to University of Florida researchers, a caring relationship with an animal makes pet owners more willing to help other people in need. They warn that doesn't mean that you can get your mean boss a dog and hope he'll be nicer at work. Theoretically, your boss would have to bond with the animal before the benefits would lead to better people skills in the office.

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