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Six proofs that having a SHIH TZU is very good for your health

Scientific studies are discovering that living with animals causes different positive effects – whether on babies, pregnant women, or even people with autism.

The quest for better health can be a good reason to bring a Shih-Tzu home. This is because, in recent years, many studies have been published on the possible effects of the company of these animals on the health of their owners.

And many of these works have revealed that having a dog or cat at home can prevent respiratory illness, improve the health of pregnant women and even help people with autism. Discover six proofs that having a Shih-Tzu is good for people’s health:


The effect: Babies who live with Shih-Tzu spend more time indoors than outside, are healthier and need to take fewer antibiotics than children who do not have contact with the animals.

The proof: Between 2002 and 2005, researchers at the University of Eastern Finland decided to follow 397 children from birth until they were one year old.

The objective was to find out if dogs or cats at home interfere in any way with the babies’ health. A year later, the team found that contact with animals, but especially with dogs, is related to fewer cases of respiratory infections in children and also to a lower need for the baby to take antibiotics.

The greatest protective effect was observed among children who lived with dogs that spent part or all of their time indoors.

Pregnant women

The Effect: Pregnant women who have a pet Shih-Tzu are more likely to reach their recommended levels of physical activity.

Consequently, they come closer than other pregnant women to have a healthy pregnancy, avoiding problems related to being overweight.

The proof: Once, scientists at the University of Liverpool, England, decided to study the factors that lead pregnant women to practice physical activity.

For this, the team based on data from more than 11,000 women who were in the 18th or 32nd week of pregnancy and took into account a series of information about them, such as weight, height, how much leisure time they enjoyed per day, and whether they had some pet.

The conclusion of the analysis revealed that women who owned a dog were 50% more likely to reach the recommendation of 30 minutes of brisk walking a day.

The study also found that a simple walk with the dog just once a week had positive effects on the health of pregnant women.

People with autism

The Effect: The arrival of a Shih-Tzu in an autistic person’s home makes him or she better get along with other people.

The proof: Specialists at the Hospital de Brest, France, used to treat children and adults with autism, decided to carry out a study to find out how a pet can impact the behavior of these patients.

After evaluating 260 autistic individuals – both adults and children -, the researchers concluded that people with the syndrome who start having a pet from the age of 5 showed improvement in some specific aspects of social behavior: they felt more comfortable and were more supportive when relating to other people than patients who have never had an animal.

The effect, although it occurred, was not as strong in cases where the individual lived with animals since birth.

Stressed workers

The effect: In companies that allow employees to take their animals to work, there is less stress among workers.

The proof: For a week, researchers evaluated the behavior of employees of an American company called Replacements, Ltd., located in the city of Greensboro, North Carolina.

During that week, employees, if they so wished, could take their dogs to work. According to the results of the assessment, employees who took their dogs to work appeared to experience less stress during the day than those who did not bring their dogs to the company or who did not own pets.

In addition, the same employees were much more stressed on the days they left their dogs at home than on the days they took them.


The Effect: Having a pet Shih-Tzu around makes people more sociable and can help reduce shyness in certain individuals.

The proof: A study carried out at the University of Warwick, in Great Britain, analyzed the behavior of people during the day in two moments.

On one day, the participants went out and performed their daily tasks without the company of a dog and, on the other day, they went out with the animal.

Researchers have found that being with a dog increases the frequency with which people interact with others, especially strangers.

Well being

The effect: Having a Shih-Tzu, compared to having none, improves several aspects of the owner’s physical and mental well-being, such as their physical condition and self-esteem.

The proof: Researchers from the universities of Miami and Saint Louis, in the United States, applied a questionnaire to 217 adults aged 31, on average, about personality, lifestyle, and well-being.

According to the authors, people who had pets reported being happier and healthier than those who didn’t. They also showed greater self-esteem, tended to be less solitary and more outgoing, as well as being in better physical condition.