Did you know that a dog can improve your mental health?
Now you do.
Dogs not only look cute, but they are also smart and supportive. One dog can do a lot of good for our mental health whether we notice it or not.
Have you ever came home tired, maybe angry, sad, or lonely? And when you unlock the door there is always that fluffy dog face staring at you and telling you with his eyes – everything will be ok. And you suddenly forget about all of your problems and feel better right away.
What is that?
Is that some kind of magic your dog puts your mental health under? I guess you can say so.
It’s that unconditional love they give. That friend that is always there for you, that friend who always listens to you and is always by your site you want it or not.
So here are 10 reasons why your dog is great for your mental health.
1. First and foremost – Dogs help you exercise
Every dog owner knows that you have to keep up with your dog.
If you’re not in the best shape then doggo will definitely help you.
Since we have a dog we walk more than 3 times a day – smaller and longer distances. Why? Because our dog is super energized and she needs to let out of her excess energy. Not to mention, she needs to pee and poop.
That’s no surprise.
And what’s in it for you?
As you need to walk with your dog, you get some exercise as well. Yaaaay! Doesn’t matter if you want it or not. We’re getting fitter by walking our dogs to have their daily potty session.
Physical activity reduces stress and anxiety. Only 10 min of walking with your dog can improve your wellbeing, it increases your mental health – alertness and your happiness.
According to Better Health Channel, there are more benefits to walking than you can imagine.
This is known as weight-bearing exercise because you carry your own body weight when you walk.
Some of the benefits include:
- Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness;
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke;
- improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint, and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes;
- Stronger bones and improved balance;
- Increased muscle strength and endurance;
- Reduced body fat.
To make it more fun to walk with your dog here are 20 Best Dog Walking Fanny Packs, Bags, And Pooches For Dog Lovers In 2021
2. Your dog gives you a reason to get up early in the morning
It doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl or an early bird, your dog has to pee.
What’s sleeping till the last minute or sleeping till noon on the weekends?
Dogs keep their biological clock very sharp. They wake up at the same time every morning, they like to eat at the same time every day and their potty walks have to be on schedule.
It helps them to be organized and calm.
It’s the same for us.
Waking up early reduces stress levels and those who get up early tend to go to bed earlier. This really benefits your brain and you sleep better as well.
You get more energy and feel happier. Getting ready for the day without running around like crazy makes your brain more focused, rested, and mentally stable.
3. Dogs reduce your stress level and anxiety
When we pet our dogs we produce the hormone called serotonin.
Serotonin is a natural hormone that regulates our senses and mood and acts as a messenger, transmitting sensory signals from one nerve cell to another. In the brain, serotonin helps to regulate mood and improves memory.
It’s a “happiness” hormone that helps us feel so happy and loved.
This feeling lowers the stress hormone called cortisol. Washington State University had instituted “Pet Your Stress Away” programs, where students can come in and interact with cats and/or dogs to help alleviate some of the strain.
They proved that just 10 minutes can have a significant impact on humans. Students showed in their study that interaction with cats and dogs leads to a significant reduction of cortisol, a major stress hormone.
4. Dogs help to lower your blood pressure
Petting your dog can lower your blood pressure by 10%.
As we pet our dogs we become more relaxed, happier, and our stress level drops significantly.
How can we be stressed or sad when we pet our four-legged friends. They just make us feel special, loved, and important.
You just need 10 to 15 minutes to feel great. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Several studies have shown that dog owners have a lower blood pressure than non-owners — probably because their pets have a calming effect on them and because dog owners tend to get more exercise.”
5. Dogs make you feel worthy
Even when you feel at your worst, you always will have your best friend who needs you.
It may sound like a lot, but you’re everything to your dog.
You’re the one who gives him food, walks with him, cuddles, and loves him. You are the protector and life organizer.
You’re the most important thing for him.
6. The dog always greets you when you arrive home
It doesn’t matter if you live alone or with your family, there’s always your dog who is extremely happy to see you when you arrive home.
There is nobody happier than your dog to see you again after a long day at work.
They use all their energy to be as happy as they can in order to greet you in front of your door.
Can you imagine someone else doing that?
They are the sweetest, most genuine creatures I know, and their love for you is unconditional.
7. Dogs give you unconditional love
You can’t be friends with everyone, it’s not possible to get everyone’s sympathy. But you can be friends with a dog.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re in a group of people, but you prefer petting the dog?
I have. Many times.
Dogs do not ask questions, judge you by your appearance, or give you strange looks (only when suspicious, but that’s a different topic). The dog in the house will like you as long as you rub his tummy or scratch his ears.
That’s unconditional love as well.
When you come home, who’s always there to greet you? Who’s there to follow you in every step you take? Your dog.
Your dog will love you no matter what.
8. Dogs are the best companions
Whenever you need a companion take your dog.
He will be the best choice.
You can take your dog for a stroll around the city, a walk in the park, paddleboarding, kayaking, shopping, and so on. Everything you want to do you can do it together with your four-legged friend.
He will always do what you say, go wherever you go, and won’t talk back.
A perfect companion.
If your dog is trained and used to humans and loud noises, you can bring him anywhere you like. But if he’s not that good with all of that he would probably need a little bit of practice, before doing it all together with you. Most important thing is that it’s possible, but will need a little practice first.
9. Dogs help you to meet new people
People always warm up when you have a dog.
They feel sympathy just by looking at you two together. They always want to know their name and if they can pet them or not.
It’s a great conversation starter if you’re out to meet new people.
Dogs always bring people together.
And if you’re single that’s the best kind of way to meet like-minded people and maybe your new date.
10. Dogs are up for cuddles and kisses
One of the most necessary things in life for humans is love.
Whether it’s family, friends, or puppy love, we need it.
Love has the power to rescue us from any mental illness.
Few kisses and cuddles from your pup can bring you back from an awful state of mind. You just can’t keep your mind sad and angry when the fluffy ball is licking your face or tries to pet himself under your hands.
And again there’s that “happy” hormone serotonin, which makes you feel good and relaxed when you are cuddling with your pup.