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How can owning a dog help me control health problems like migraines?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Looking for a novel way to help get your migraines under better control? Believe it or not, your doctors have been looking to a new type of therapist for migraines -- a canine personal trainer!

Dr. Serpell at the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Cambridge evaluated new pet owners and people without pets for “minor” health problems -- including headaches. While there was no change in minor health problems over six months among non-pet owners, minor health problems dropped by 50% after just one month after adding a dog to the household. And minor health problems continued to be reduced in dog owners for the six months of the study.

Part of the reason a dog can help with your headaches is because your “canine personal trainer” can show you how to revamp many areas of your lifestyle to develop a more headache-healthy lifestyle. Dogs naturally follow healthier habits -- unless we humans interfere by not feeding them properly, allowing enough time for exercise, etc.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.