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Bringing your dog to work could make you happier

Saturday - 7/28/2012, 1:21pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Many companies wonder how they can improve morale and limit stress in the workplace. The answer to improving spirits might just be a furry friend.

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Business found that employees who bring their dog to the office were more satisfied with their jobs, experienced less stress and felt more productive.

"When no one else will listen to you, your dog will listen to you," says Prof. Randolph Barker.

Researchers also discovered that interaction between dogs and their owners - even if it's just exchanging glances - can increase levels of oxytocin, the "feel good" hormone thought to bond breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

"It's a low-cost wellness intervention, or benefit, that's available readily to any organization," Barker says.

Dogs are already welcomed at some large companies like Google and Amazon.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)