How Your Dog Improves Your Mental Health - Without Even Trying!

September 20, 2021

How Your Dog Improves Your Mental Health - Without Even Trying!

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Day, we want to acknowledge how significant our canine companions are in improving our overall well being. All dog owners can appreciate the joy that their furry friend brings to their life, but it’s important to also recognize how beneficial having a pet can be for our mental health!

Various studies have shown that having a pet can help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health issues. Having a dog improves our well being in many ways, some of which include providing companionship, promoting exercise, contributing to self worth, and creating a structured environment. All of these small advantages add up to create an all around healthier mental state!

 

Companionship

The companionship between you and your pup can alleviate loneliness and provide a positive self image, both of which are monumental when it comes to mental health, particularly for those who struggle with depression. The unbreakable bond between you and your dog can make you feel less lonely and/or isolated. Your pup will always be there for you! You are the most important thing to your dog and they will always have an unconditional pure puppy love for you, no matter what you’re going through. This unconditional love encourages a positive self image - You are pawfect through your pup’s eyes, always!

 

Exercise

Exercise and getting outside are also integral to mental health and are scientifically proven to release endorphins and help you live a happier life! All dogs love a good w-a-l-k. Taking your pup out on a stroll or to the park gets you outside and moving, and provides exercise for both you and your doggo. Not to mention, seeing our pups happy makes us happy! When you’re playing outside with your pup, you’re living in the moment, which can also help ease anxiety. Giving your dog the exercise they need keeps you both healthy and present. Plus, we all know a tired dog is a good dog!

*Don’t forget - Days you need to stay in bed are ok too! Your doggo will be more than happy to give you cuddles whenever you need them. Even just snuggling up with your pup can play a major role in reducing anxiety and easing stress.

 

Self Worth

Creating a strong sense of self worth is one of the most important aspects in taking care of your mental health. The responsibility of taking care of your furry friend can build self esteem by providing a sense of purpose, just by knowing that you’re their care-taker and you’re giving them the best life possible! Being able to nurture and provide for your dog can boost your self confidence and encourage you to do the same for yourself.

 

Structure

Having structure is beneficial for everyone, and having routine can be especially critical if you’re struggling with your mental health. Owning a dog requires that you create this routine - Even if your routine is built around your dog, the structure is all that matters! For example, pups require a regular feeding and exercise schedule that you need to maintain for them, and doing so creates a balance that is beneficial for both of you! When you have a set agenda, you have a sense of security - This can be a huge factor in reducing anxiety by removing the fear of uncertainty.

 

Working Dogs

We want to extend an extra thank you to all of the service and therapy dogs out there. The role you pups play in supporting your humans is inspirational and we’re grateful for all that you doggos do!

 

Take care of yourself - You matter!

It's easy to see the happiness that dogs bring to our everyday lives, but if you look a little further, you can start to see how truly remarkable their impact is, especially when it comes to mental health. Give your pup some extra kisses today!
 

 

P.S. If you don’t have a pet of your own, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with animals and still achieve all of these benefits! You can spend time with your friends’ pets, volunteer at a shelter, or become a dog walker or pet sitter - The options are endless!

Treat yourself kindly today and every day - Take care of yourself the same way you take care of your pupper! :)

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