Pawsitive Vibes Only:
Can Dogs Help With Mental Health?
Beyond their wagging tails and adorable antics, dogs offer a multitude of mental health benefits. So could they be the source to true happiness?
– Josh Billings –
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself."
Ways Dogs Help With Mental Health:
Regular walks and playtime with your dog provide opportunities for exercise and fresh air, which are known to enhance mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Keep us calm
It's hard to stay in a bad mood when you're around a cheerful dog. Dogs have an innate ability to boost our mood and bring smiles to our faces.
Regardless of our flaws, moods, or circumstances, our canine companions greet us with unwavering affection. This constant presence of love and companionship can be a powerful antidote to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are common triggers for mental health issues.
Life's stressors can take a toll on our mental health, but spending time with dogs has been proven to reduce stress. Petting a dog can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, while simultaneously increasing the release of oxytocin, the "love hormone."
Walking your dog in the park or taking them to a dog-friendly gathering can lead to interactions with fellow dog owners, sparking new friendships and fostering a sense of community. These social connections are essential for our mental health, as they combat feelings of loneliness and promote a sense of belonging.
Routines are Healthy
Dogs help establish healthy routines for both themselves and their owners. Stability and predictability to your life can reduce the feeling of chaos. It also can promot better routines around sleep, allowing time for relaxation, meals, and exercise.
Help us sleep
Dogs, present in the room during bouts of insomnia or nightmares stemming from PTSD, facilitate better sleep, a crucial element in reducing stress and enhancing cognitive function.
Dogs offer unconditional acceptance, a crucial asset in communities more susceptible to depression, serving as non-judgmental sources of emotional support during challenging times.
Dogs are increasingly integrated into therapy settings to aid individuals grappling with various mental health challenges. Therapy dogs (Animal Assisted Therapy - AAT) effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, serving as a calming presence during therapy sessions, making it easier for clients to open up and actively engage in the therapeutic process.