Isn’t it a joy in itself to have a dog in your life? We could define that a dog is that faithful and inseparable companion that accompanies us in all our adventures and keeps us company in moments of loneliness and sadness. Do you know The Benefits For Your Mental Health of Having a Dog?
But in reality, our dog is much more than an animal that accompanies us on this journey called life. They are real friends. Your dog really loves you. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? Dogs will earn your affection every day and without realizing it, they are giving you a mental well-being.
Did you know that the company of our dog has benefits for your mental health? Indeed, taking care of our dog also helps us in several ways. Its company literally changes our lives, enriches us as individuals, and brings endless benefits to our mental health.
7 benefits for your mental health of having a dog
Our dog can relieve stress and depression
According to studies from two Washington State Universities and another at the University of Ottawa, they stated that stroking our dog for approximately 10 minutes is enough time for our “stress hormone” or cortisol to be reduced. In addition, these studies show that, in these times of coronavirus and pandemic, this simple practice of stroking our dog and feeling in his company has helped reduce stress and anxiety of the owners by 22%.
When we pet our dog, the relief we feel counteracts and neutralizes any type of negative thought. In fact, what we are capable of feeling is that everything is fine, that we are protected and that we are not alone. Awesome right?
Our dog can elevate our mood and happiness
When our dog comes to greet us, to play or simply to approach us, we are invaded by an enormous state of happiness and satisfaction. Have you ever wondered why? The answer is very simple, for our dogs we are the most important thing in their world. The joy they transmit is contagious and therefore we, as a response, also feel happy and loved. Also, its enthusiasm for us is pure and true and that feeling makes us calm.
Dogs are able to change our mood in a positive way in just 1 second. That is, a dog is not only capable of reducing the stress of a long day, but, on the contrary, a dog is capable of increasing our serotonin and dopamine. In this way, our dog contributes to our mental health.
We won’t feel alone with our dog
For the vast majority of people, loneliness is a real enemy. We all like to be accompanied and feel loved. If there’s one thing dogs are really good at, it’s cheering us up. Although dogs are not people, it does not mean that we can not talk to them. They know thanks to the tone of our voice and the energy we give off how we feel at all times.
Also, speaking out loud and listening to ourselves and our thoughts is great therapy for our mental health. Who has not ever told their dog their deepest secrets? They don’t judge us and it even seems as if they could understand us. This only contributes to making us feel understood and in turn being able to get things off our chests. Next to our dog we will never feel alone.
Increases our senses of responsibility and commitment
Great power involves great responsibility. The truth is that properly caring for and attending to the needs of our canine friends is undoubtedly a great responsibility. This sense of responsibility helps us owners enormously. According to psychology, one of the basic needs of human beings is to feel important and useful in life.
When we spend our time caring for those around us, we feel fully satisfied. Therefore, that need to be useful and important is covered. In addition, dogs are very grateful creatures and they give us back with their love and company everything we do for them. In this way, we establish a healthy relationship with our pet. Dogs commit to us by giving us their loyalty and love.
And we are committed to them by taking care of them and serving them in the best possible way. All of this contributes to our personal growth and good mental health.
How could our dog help us to have better self-esteem? Isn’t self-esteem an internal job?
The truth is that dogs have a lot to teach humans. Dogs have many values that they show us every day. It is true that we have to work on self-esteem by ourselves, but taking care of a dog helps us in the process. By socializing with them and constantly seeing positive responses from the dogs we feel motivated, secure and little by little more confident. It even improves our social skills if we are introverts. A person who increases his self-esteem will be a much happier person and with a positive mental health.
A dog contributes to our social development
Our canine friends undoubtedly teach us the values of friendship, loyalty and love every day of their lives. Spending time with dogs helps improve our relationships with other people. They give us experience and greater confidence in our dealings with the people around us. Many people even reduce their feeling of shame when dealing with new people.
Physical exercise with our dog
Last but not least, having a dog “forces” us to have not only to take the corresponding walks but also to carry out physical activities with them.
Most dogs love to play and run outside. If we take the opportunity to train and exercise with them we will feel much happier. This is because when we do some kind of sport, our brain releases serotonin. That’s why after finishing training we feel so happy with ourselves. Also, did you know that when you exercise, the muscle that you stimulate the most is your brain? That’s right, therefore, physical exercise is crucial for good mental health.
In conclusion, taking care of our dog brings us a lot of benefits regarding our mental health. They give us company, values, affection, fun, confidence and mental well-being. Without a doubt, a dog is the best friend of human beings because without asking you anything a dog will give you everything.
Also, finf out 10 Good Reasons To Adopt A Dog here.