Dogs make excellent companions. They can be a great source of comfort and motivation. Caring for a dog, incidentally, is calming for our mind and bodies. Their company offers great ways to beat stress and anxieties. Research shows that just patting a pet can reduce stress and lower your blood pressure levels. Even watching fishes swimming in an aquarium calms the mind. Spending time with dogs will therefore help you relax and practise mindfulness. People suffering from mental health disorders like depression and anxiety could benefit from the company of a dog.
Our canine babies teach us to love unconditionally. The depth and innocence of their pure love is a joy to hold in our hearts along with mental health benefits that finds us responsible, sensitive and grounded. The inclusion of dogs in a variety of contexts such as therapeutic and educational settings have earned them the tag – “great companions for life”. A growing band of research studies is demonstrating how packs of pets have undeniably protected our mental health especially during pandemic.
Tough time for many but for many pet parents, their furry babies were their ultimate source of joy when the world was in lockdown mode. They believed that they have been less lonely during the pandemic especially the ones isolated from their families and loved ones. Despite the troubled times, tending to their dogs gave them some sense of purpose. Dogs would whine, slobber, leave paw prints and fur all around but being locked with them also boosted their human’s well-being. Studies also reveal how a dog can sense the mood and emotions of its owner, and that itself is a reassuring feeling.
5 ways in which dogs improve our mental health.
- Reduced Stress Levels after interacting with Dogs
Playing and petting with dogs can show immediate benefits. Studies around pets reveal that interacting with dogs can reduce stress-related hormones, within as early as 5minutes of playing with them. For anxiety sufferers, dogs are an emotional crutch.
- Gives a sense of purpose
When you own a dog, you are responsible for caring for them. The daily routine of tending to their needs fills you up with a sense of purpose and you are never left alone.
- Increased sense of self-worth and self esteem
Across studies have confirmed that dog owners have improved well-being quotient in various areas that includes better self-esteem, more outwardly, better physical fitness, more conscientiousness, less preoccupied ness, less fearfulness, more confidence and less loneliness.
- Dogs improve your social interaction
Dogs create opportunities for pet parents to meet and interact more often, especially in a dog’s club or other pet friendly places. People who struggle with social situations or suffer from social phobia, slowly find it easier to mingle with new people with the help of their pet dogs.
- Boosts healthy habits
Pets need to be taken care of, just like little babies. It often leads to building up healthy habits and routines. Physical activity, getting up on time every morning, outdoor walks and dog-care are reminders of caring for their owners’ own health as well. Pets give reasons to live healthy and in the moment.
There’s a magic touch in those dog’s paws. Their hearts are full of love that can bring tremendous joy and calm in human lives. If you do not own a pet and wish to experience the feeling of adopting one, try to spend time with your friend’s or neighbour’s dog. Walk them up or stroke them, cuddle them or play with them, and you may never need second thoughts of bringing your fur baby home.