5 Ways Dogs Improve Your Mental Health

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Most people would agree there are few more loving creatures on Earth than a dog. The bond between humans and animals is magical. When we are struggling with our mental health, pets can lift us when we need it most.

Dog owners know the benefits of having a dog. But for people suffering from mental health or emotional conditions, they may not be aware of how beneficial a dog could be.

A dog can provide support and comfort that will improve all areas of your mental health. So why are they so special?

Dogs Improve Your Mental Health

1. Provides Emotional Support

People who adore their dogs will be quick to tell you how much joy, loyalty and unconditional love they receive on a daily basis.

For those who are battling ongoing mental health problems, dogs can act as emotional support. If you are receiving treatment from a licensed therapist, psychologist or doctor, as part of ongoing treatment, you can have an emotional support animal be prescribed to you.

These animals bring comfort and minimize the negative symptoms you may be experiencing. Through ESA Registration, these licensed dogs can provide love and therapeutic support.

2. Helps Relieve Stress

Stress is unavoidable for most of us on a daily basis. Whether you've had a bad day at work or are going through personal troubles, a dog won't judge you. Dogs tend not to dwell on yesterday or dread tomorrow, something we would love to take into our own lives.

Stress can take its toll on everyone both mentally and physically. We all have different ways of coping but sometimes, just spending time with your dog can be an effective way of clearing anxiety.

Stroking or playing with a dog can make you feel better instantly. There is nothing like a wagging tail to lift your spirits.

3. Gets You Exercising

Image Source: happydogretreat

Dogs are a great way of encouraging people to get out and exercise in the fresh air. For those who suffer from depression, it can be difficult to find the strength to get out of the house.

Taking your dog for a lovely walk can help clear your mind as well as the enjoyment of having them beside you.

If you dread exercise, it's much more fun to do it with your dog, and soon, both your fitness levels will rise. You will also start to appreciate nature like never before. Nothing gets you moving quite like a dog.

4. Improves Your Social Life

We can all be guilty of walking through life with our headphones in and trying to block out the world. When you have a dog at your side, our furry companions can help us be more sociable. They help develop friendships and create bonds to support us when we are going through struggles.

Dogs give you a reason to talk to people and vice versa. It helps you beat the feeling of any loneliness and can lift you out of a depressive episode.


5. Increases Your Sense of Self-Worth

Loving and caring for a dog gives you purpose. It makes you feel wanted and helps take focus away from your depression.

People feel more needed and wanted when they have a pet for whom they need to care. Caring for an animal gives us a sense of meaning.

Dogs stop us from being selfish. When we care for them, we focus on something else other than ourselves. Having a companion can prevent depression, and specialist therapy dogs are trained to be hypersensitive to your needs.

Ready for a Dog?

Image Source: petfinder

Although they are considered to be a huge commitment, it's truly worth it. For those struggling with their mental health, in times of need, a dog will love you no matter what.

Francis Ross

    Francis Ross

    Her experience as a veterinarian stretching back more than fifteen years, Francis D. Ross has spent ten years of clinical practice as an equine veterinarian and companion animal practitioner. She has also done work as a regulatory veterinarian for the government, giving her a unique and useful perspective of the policies that affect animals’ and animal owners’ day-to-day lives. An avid writer, she specializes in formal educational pieces and casual blog posts alike, and she has done guest spots on many animal-related podcasts.