What are the psychological benefits of spending time with dogs?

Dog lovers (myself included) can openly attest to just how relaxing a cuddle with your pooch can be — but we aren’t the only ones.

Therapy dogs aren’t a new concept, but not everyone knows the positive effects that can come from some quality canine time.

An Okanagan psychologist is looking to change that, with a free public seminar on how dogs can heal and help.

Dr. Kim Dawson often incorporates dogs in his work with people recovering from trauma. He believes being around a dog actually changes the brain chemistry and boosts pleasure hormones.

“In a way, the hormones program the brain to remember ‘this is a very positive experience,’ which counters the emotional memory of the trauma they’ve been through,” Dr. Dawson said.

If you want to learn more, the free lecture is happening February 27 at the Okanagan Regional Library in Kelowna.

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