5 ways dogs can help your mental health

Dogs dauntlessly co-operate with people in life-saving circumstances; for example, police or with missing persons, yet they offer us friendship and unlimited love – they’re genuinely are our closest companions.

They can also have an amazingly positive impact on mental health, here are some ways that they help.

They get us out and about

Dogs need to be walked and that means you need to go for a walk with them, in turn, getting you to exercise and out in the fresh air which can benefit depression sufferers as well as the potential for leading to more social interactions.

 

They're always there for you

Having a dog as a resident means you know there will always be someone waiting for you when you get home or have someone you can spend all day with. The affection and love you get from dogs make them perfect companions especially good for the elderly or those living alone.

 

They’ll calm you down

The added comfort from having a canine companion is good for those with anxiety. Taking them for walks isn’t only good for getting you to leave the house but having to concentrate on your dog will help you keep your minds off other stressful things you may have otherwise thoughts about. Some research even shows that a pet can lower the levels of stress hormones just simply by being around.

 

They will get you into a routine

Getting into a routine is a brilliant way to start tackling depression or anxiety but for people on the Autism spectrum, they are particularly important. Having to regularly feed, exercise, groom and generally care for your pet will all add to creating a solid routine. It’s been shown that dogs can reduce stereotyped behaviour, lessen sensory sensitivity, and increase the desire and ability to connect socially with others for people who have Autism.

 

They give us pride

Taking care of our dogs and keeping them well and happy takes a fair bit of effort and every time they do something be it a new trick, giving you a friendly sniff or just making a passer-by smile, dogs help to make us feel proud of the hard work we’ve put in and will start to improve levels of self-esteem.