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How Owning And Petting A Dog Can Improve Your Health

1282 words - 6 pages

Introduction:
Pet ownership in America has more than tripled since the 1970s, when around 67 million households had pets. In the year 2012, approximately 164 million families owned pets. (The Humane Society, 1/30/14) So why do so many people enjoy having a pet, or specifically, a dog? Research shows that having a dog around has shown to people’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social wellness. (Rider, 5/22/12) Blood pressure is one way to measure a person’s wellness, and studies show that dogs can help lower blood pressures. There are two different measurements, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. When your heart beats, it contracts and pushes blood through the arteries to the rest of the body. This creates pressure on the arteries through force. This type of blood pressure is systolic and should be below 120. When the heart rests between beats the blood pressure measured is called diastolic, the bottom number, and should be less than 80 (WebMD, 2005-2014).
In the lab it is testing to determine whether petting a dog could reduce stress levels. (Scott, 11/18/13) How to measure the stress on someone’s body would be by taking their blood pressure. So, the goal throughout the lab would be to be able to show that when a test subject pets one dog for a certain amount of time that their blood pressure will go down. To show these results, measure the person’s blood pressure before and after petting the dog.
The hypothesis in this lab is that when a test subject pets a dog for a time limit of three minutes, a relatively short amount of time, their blood pressure will still decrease. The second part of the hypothesis is that the persons pulse will decrease as well. This hypothesis is believable because research shows that people who own a dog are healthier and happier and that petting their dog just once a day can lower their blood pressure.

Methods:
The procedure in this lab was to first find 20 test subjects, to have a variety of people. Next, take the subjects blood pressure before they pet the dog, as a control for the experiment. Then the person will pet the dog for a timed three minutes. Then take their blood pressure again and record it one more time. The variable in this experiment is how much petting the dog changes their blood pressure.
Through this experiment the prediction is that the subjects will decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. In this experiment it is optional to measure pulse along with the blood pressure. The prediction is that most people’s pulse will go up because of increased activity, from petting the dog. No formulas were use in the lab; the only measurements used were blood pressure measurements.

Results:
The results show that sixteen out of twenty people’s systolic blood pressure went up. That means that four people out of twenty’s systolic blood pressure went up after petting the dog. The results also show that fourteen out of twenty people’s diastolic blood pressure went down and that four...

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