Can Dogs Improve Our Mental Health?

Having a pet in your life is a great source of comfort. In many ways, they help us live healthier lives.

Did you know, canine companions, trigger similar neural pathways to the parent-baby bond which reduces loneliness and depression? In scientific reports, pet therapy trials are reporting dramatic effects on the human mood

can dogs improve our mental health

There are obvious benefits of having a dog. Any pet parent doesn’t need to be told about the everyday delights of having a four-legged friend. The crazy tail wagging when you come home. The sleepy snuggles on the sofa. The delight on their faces when it’s treat time. 

You might not be aware of it but our dogs create a positive effect on our mental state. Statistics from MIND UK show that 8 in 100 people will suffer from depression in their lifetime, and 2 in 100 people will suffer from Bipolar disorder.  As this is such a significant aspect of human life, on Mental Health Day, we investigate the positive canine effect on human mental health.

Here are 6 top ways our furry friends can improve our mental health.

Increase physical activity

All dogs need exercise. Whether that’s a short 15 min around the block, a run in the park or a ramble through the countryside. Our furry friends keep us active and walking our dogs makes it a fun source of exercise.
It also gives us an opportunity to take in some fresh air, relax,  and take in our surroundings. It is like pressing the reset button after a long hard day. Taking our dogs for a walk is a great way to clear our heads and leave the day behind.

A friend indeed

mental health benefits
We’re sure we speak for all of you dog owners, but our dogs are our best friends. We spend more time with our fur babies than we do with some of our friends and family. 
Caring for them makes us feel wanted and needed. They are constantly by our sides, appreciate everything we do for them and in return, they provide us with their unconditional love. A man's (or woman's) best friend.

Reduce anxiety

It's a fact that people with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
One study found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.

You’re doing great

Our dogs are great listeners. How many times have we offloaded our problems onto our dogs? Or even just told them about the day we have just had? They sit, listen attentively without judging or criticism which can be a great confidence booster if we are feeling a bit low.

Meeting people

Dog owners are a friendly down to earth bunch and often stop and chat with each other when out on walks. Some people have met the other half’s whilst out walking the dog. 

Taking your dog to the pet shop to choose their favourite treat or taking part in a dog show or training class are great ways to meet other people with the same interests.dogs can boost your mood - mental health

Routine

Having the responsibility of looking after a pet can bring structure and routine to your day. Having to feed, exercise and care for your pet is a responsibility that makes us feel more grounded and focused.

It also gives our day a sense of purpose and achievement.

So what more do you need to hear before you realise that your life will change for the better once you get a dog?

They’re amazing, and you will never experience such a special bond like it. But you have to be 100% sure that you are ready and capable to own a dog. 


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