We all love our dogs. They make us smile, laugh and they are the best of companions. Research has recently proven what Warrior Canine Connection has upheld all along: dogs are good for our health.
According to a recent study published in The Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA), the calming effect of dogs extends beyond the physical realm and includes the virtual companionship found on screens.
For Rachel Lacy, who works in the gynecological oncology department at University of Virginia Hospital, the findings resonate strongly.
“Having the puppy cams, like the ones at Warrior Canine Connection, gives our staff moments of happiness and relief in a fast-paced and sometimes stressful working environment,” said Rachel Lacy, senior quality assurance specialist GYN ONC, University of Virginia Hospital. “The moment of reprieve is a welcome one especially in our oncology service line.”
The research findings revealed a notable decrease in self-reported anxiety among nurse leaders both individually and collected after participating in animal-related engagement (ARE) and support what Explore.org and WCC set out to prove through the puppy cam.
“The premise of starting Explore.org was to educate people about animals, bringing them into their living rooms,” said Courtney Huq, social media director, Explore.org. “Our viewers tell us often that puppy cams provide an uplifting dose of happiness, a break from day-to-day stress—that they’re the perfect antidote. It’s great to see the research catching up that.”
The live, 24/7 Warrior Canine Connection puppy cam hosted by Explore.org, has been in existence since July 2013. And in that time, millions of people have tuned in from all over the world. Over the years, WCC and Explore.org have heard not just from nurses, but also from teachers who have shown the feed in their classroom, doctors in ICUs during the height of the pandemic, and many, many other people, like Jane Jensen, who found relief in the camera while battling cancer a few years ago.
“I had that live stream up almost 24 hours a day for months; it literally got me through the chemotherapy treatments,” said Jane. “It was truly a spirit-saver—there’s no question. I didn’t have the energy or interest to watch TV, read or even eat at that point. I would just sit there and watch the puppies and they would make me smile. As an animal-lover, watching them helped lower my blood pressure and they just made my heart sing.”
Although WCC’s mission directly supports Service Members, Veterans and their families, we are thrilled at the reach our programs have extended far beyond specific community.
For more details on the research findings, you can access the complete JONA study here.