We finished our research and our lab report. We had to finish early due to time constraints with school ending. We thank you, Sam Irving, for all your help and for everything you suggested for us.
We hope you have a great summer!
How Dogs Relieve Stress
by Madison Stewart, Kassidy Groeper, Andrew Williams
May 14th, 2015
To test pulse, we used the accurate app on our phones. We took each person’s pulse while sitting down five times and then averaged it to get the most accurate pulse we could get. Then one person played with a dog for 5 minutes while sitting down with the dogs sitting down as well. We did this because if they were running around with the dogs, then that would cause their pulse to rise because they are doing physical activity. We tested this on one person and their pulse was lowered after five minutes. Then we had another person pet the dogs for ten minutes to see if the time they spent with the dog determined how much their pulse changes.
Most dogs are loving, playful, and can sense your mood. When you pet dogs, their oxytocin and cortisol is reduced, this is a two-way street and the hormones are reduced for humans as well. These are the hormones that create stress. (NBC News, Puppy Love-- it’s better than you think) Dogs take your mind off of whatever is annoying you because they will bump into you or lick you. Their constant attention will make you pet them and then before you know it you are just thinking about them and not the annoyance. When you are mad the only things that can help are time to cool down and think, or a flood of dopamine released from your brain. Dopamine is released when you hug a person or an animal. Also, touching either a dog or human can actually stop certain parts of the brain from sending threat signals, so it makes sense that petting your dog can make you feel better. (5 ways pets can help improve your health, WebMd). For this experiment we are going to do a period of tests over time on people playing with dogs when they’re stressed and then test their pulse before and after, since the higher your pulse is the higher your blood pressure, the higher pressure the higher your stress level is.(High Blood Pressure, Mayo Clinic)
To test the subject’s pulse we had them sit down and then took their pulse 5 times and then averaged it so that way we could be as accurate as possible. We had one person pet the dog for 5 minutes to see if the pulse had lowered. Then we had the other person pet the dog for 10 minutes to see if playing with the dog longer would cause the person to have a lower pulse. Also we had the people sitting down while petting the dog because if they were running around with the dog their pulse would increase just from running around. After petting and playing with the dog for five and ten minutes, we also recorded the pulse five times and then took the average pulses.
The first time we took pulses for our first subject was 72, 78, 76, 70, and 73. So the average pulse for subject number one before petting the dog was 74. After playing with the dog for 5 minutes the subject’s pulse was 67, 69, 70, 72, and 69. So the average pulse for subject number one after petting the dog was 69. The subject’s pulse had went down by 6 percent. The second subject’s initial pulse was as follows; 85, 88, 83, 80, and 87. So the average pulse for subject number two was 85. After playing with the dog for 10 minutes the subject’s pulse was 69, 70, 68, 71, and 69. So the average pulse rate for subject number two after petting the dog was 69.
Our hypothesis was supported by the given numbers above. Otherwise stated as the subject pulse rate lowering. In both cases, both subjects, their pulse rate was lowered by petting the dog for both five and ten minutes. Given this result, we were correct in our assumption that dogs will help relieve stress and lower pulse rates. In doing this, dopamine is released and the subjects are much more calm and not stressed. Having dopamine released is basically like having some weak anesthesia. You become happy and worry less. All of which has a positive effect on the body. This is why
We are currently finishing cutting our pieces with the shopbot and assembling them with glue. We also have aquired our fan, plexiglass for the back of the cabinet, and a power strip. What we need and have not yet found, we have plans to get soon such as a 12V power supply which we are getting tomorrow. We will post pictures upon completion.