Having a dog is great for your mental health! Dogs can do wonders to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. They are also helpful in providing social support. And they don’t judge you or leave when you need them the most.
In this blog post, we will talk about 5 reasons why having a dog is good for your mental health!1. Science has confirmed it!
There are so many studies confirming that pets are good for our health in general.
Research has shown that people with dogs tend to have lower rates of heart disease, depression, and anxiety than those without dogs.
It’s also been proven that owning a pet reduces stress levels by lowering blood pressure, slowing heart rates, and relaxing tensed up muscles.
2. Having a dog beats loneliness
People who live alone can get lonely, but dogs provide the most wonderful companionship.
Your dog loves nothing more than to be with you, whether it be out on a walk, playing in the garden or snuggling up on the sofa. You’ll never find another human being as loyal to you as your dog is.
Pets also help people feel more confident about themselves due to the boost in self-esteem they experience when interacting with an animal that loves them unconditionally.
Your dog will always greet you at the door when you come home from work or school, which is especially helpful if you’re someone who lives on their own.
Ironically, having a dog can also help you feel less lonely by helping you connect with others.
3. Social connection
Dogs are a great way to initiate conversation with other pet parents, thereby opening up the opportunity for you to meet new people and make connections.
It’s not just other pet parents either. I know so many people in my community because they stop to chat at my gate, or out on a walk, and ask about my dog.
Pets also provide an excellent ice-breaker between humans that can be useful in social settings such as parties where introductions may not flow as easily or when meeting someone for the first time.
4. Someone to talk to
Dogs are fantastic listeners.
I forget how many times I’ve poured my heart out to my pups. A dog will always listen to what you say, so it’s easier to express your feelings without fear of judgment or resentment.
Sometimes, we don’t really need someone to talk to, so much as needing to feel heard, to get something off our chests.
Dogs don’t interrupt (well, some don’t…), they don’t change the subject, nor do they say “Yeah, I know how you feel, the same thing happened to me….”. They just listen.
5. Physical benefits lead to mental health benefits
Unless your dog hates going out for walks, having a dog is good for your physical health. Going out for a walk, even a gentle one, is good for you on many levels. Regular physical exercise has been shown to relieve mental stress and anxiety.
We know that inactivity can contribute to depression but going for a walk has been shown to have the opposite effect – it actually leads to feelings of happiness. Having a dog is good for your physical AND your mental health!
If your dog dislikes going out for walks – and there are some that find walks stressful – some playtime in the home will benefit both of you. Playing chase around the house, a gentle game of tug – simple games like this will have you both feeling better.
Playing with your dog also helps to lower stress-related hormones. What better excuse could you want for pet play time?
Let’s not forget too, that on a day when you really don’t feel like getting out of bed, having a dog gives you a good reason to. Having a purpose – another being to care for and look after, can give us a much-needed purpose and structure in our lives.
When it comes to adding happiness and joy into your life, there are few things better than a dog. They provide the unconditional love we all so crave in this world of negativity, fear, and anxiety.
Sure they may not be able to give you that raise or promotion at work but I guarantee no one will ever do as much for your mental health without even trying!
If you love dogs but can’t have your own, consider helping outat a local rescue. You won’t regret it 🙂
This is a guest post written by Trey from caninecompilation.com