How Owning a Pet Dog Can Help with Your Mental Health
Numerous studies indicate that owning a pet comes with plenty of health benefits. Here is an inclusive insight into how caring for a pet dog can help you keep your depression, anxiety and/or stress in check.
Dogs and depression
Because of how active and loving there are, pet dogs can help motivate you to get out of bed and do things when you are feeling down. Plus, given that they have to be walked daily, dog owners are indirectly encouraged to do some exercise, an activity that is very useful for those suffering from depression.
Studies have shown that spending time with a pet and cuddling with it or just petting it can help make one feel less stressed and happier. In a nutshell, caring for a dog can give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
As the proud owner of a pet dog, you will most likely join forums dedicated to topics of interest and you will consequently get to interact with others and, in some cases, make new friends.
For instance, if your pet suffers from a medical condition such as digestive issues that you might not know how to deal with, you can find out more about probiotics and enzymes for dogs here, reaching out to other owners who have experience in managing the said condition is highly useful.
Making new friends that share the same interests as you can help you become more socially adept. After all, studies indicate that people who engage in social relationships are, on average, mentally healthier.
They encourage healthy habits
Because dogs need to be taken out often, dog owners make it a habit of spending time in nature with their pets. Research has repeatedly shown that spending time outdoors does wonders for one’ s mental health.
Even more so, it seems like outdoor activities can help one lower his/her stress levels that are normally associated with the levels of cortisol in their bodies. The more time we spend away from the busy and stressful lives we have in the city; we tend to become more mindful and more positive. Hence, our overall state of mind improves drastically.
Apart from encouraging us to spend time in nature, our pets also make us develop day to day habits, such as waking up at the same time and sticking to a schedule. Because they need to be fed and cared for, pets give their owners a reason to get up in the morning.
Moreover, it seems like caring for a pet is a great indirect signal that we send to ourselves to also look after ourselves. This is particularly important as we often get lost in the stress associated with the never-ending to-do lists we have to complete day after day.
They give us love
The most beautiful and precious gift our pets give us is their unconditional love. They are always there for us and they never judge us in any way. No matter how complicated or tiring your day at the office is, you can be sure that your pet will be right there for you once you get home, happy to see you and to spend time with you.
This type of love can do a great deal for our mental health. In the company of our pets, our brains release dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel happy.
Given all these benefits that are backed by scientific research, it is clear that owning a dog can do wonders for our mental health. So, if you do not own a pup yet, get in touch with your local animal shelter and learn more about the adoption procedures.