How Fido Can Boost Your Mood
Dogs have been people's best friends for thousands of years. According to a current study, dogs emerged as descendants of wolves about 27,000 to 40,000 years ago, and it didn’t take long for humans to domesticate them. Each breed had its own specific job to fulfill, such as hunting, rescue, and herding dogs. However, some dogs do still have their own roles to fulfill today, they are mostly home bodies. So, how does having a dog at home affect your mental health?
Depression and Anxiety
As people are suffering more and more with mental health issues, a greater number of pets are getting hired as therapy dogs. Maybe it's because humans are social beings. With the current state of the world and the pandemic, it's hard to socialize, which causes us to get lonely and oftentimes depressed. Having a furry friend allows individuals to have company and inhibits them to practice self-care, as they promote a healthy life-style. Even just sitting next to a dog and petting them, provides someone with a sense of relief and tranquility. Curling up on the coach with you pup or playing with them can also help prevent loneliness.
The American Psychological Association examined the effects dogs have on their owners self-esteem, and found people living and caring for a dog had greater self-esteem. This may be due to one’s generosity and unconditional towards the animal that makes them feel wanted and happy. Or, maybe it's due to their unconditional love for humans as well. We never feel judged by a dog, or their ego getting in the way of the relationship. Dogs are amazing on the inside, causing us to gain more confidence as a result.
When’s the last time you walked your dog? I get it, we all make excuses. “The asphalt is too hot for their paws.” or “I don’t have enough time.” People are even hiring others to walk their dog. Only if they knew this could greatly impact their mental health. It's widely accepted that exercising is great for the mind, helping to relieve stress and worry. The Mayo Clinic states doing 30 minutes of exercise a day will improve anxiety and depression. So, why not do it with a dog? Canines promote a healthy style as they need exercise themselves, whether that be through play or going on a walk or run.
Owning a dog can have great impacts on an individuals mental health and lifestyle. They can help lower stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness, while increasing physical health. If you do not have a dog and are pondering on finding your next best friend, we recommend adopting as it helps save lives. Please contact your local animal shelter or go online.
Article written by Adisen Goodart - Linkedin