Dogs, Your Health and Wellbeing | Mental Health and Wellbeing
Studies have found that spending time with a dog helps ease a large range of mental health conditions, such as, depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, bipolar disorder, PTSD, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
Petting, touching, and hugging your dog can help to calm and soothe you when you are experiencing symptoms of the above conditions.
When a dog is present with patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, studies have found that the common frustrations that are often brought on by these diseases are eased.
When exercising, you are more likely to stick to your goals, because your dog holds you accountable.
Dogs, Your Health and Wellbeing | Things to Consider
But wait, before you decide to run out and buy a dog there are a few things you need to consider.
First, they all have different personalities. Do your research to find a dog that meshes well with your lifestyle. Don’t just buy one because you think it’s cute as a puppy. They grow up to be dogs and may get much larger than you were expecting.
Second, understand that a dog is not a magical cure-all to your life’s problems. Buying a dog will not automatically heal your mental well-being. It will not suddenly make you happy, it will not make you hundreds of friends, and it won’t suddenly make you lose weight.
Finally, dogs are a full-time commitment, they cost a lot of money and they can display destructive behavior.
But know, owning a dog will allow for you to make a connection with a creature, who is unbiased, and unjudgmental, and will offer unconditional love. When you love a creature who loves you like that, slowly you will begin to heal. Owning a dog will grant you the opportunities to go out and make those social connections you crave. It will encourage you to want to exercise your dog for their sake, because you care about them and their wellbeing, in turn helping you to exercise as well. Their playfulness will create moments in which you will find happiness.
They can help you to find joy and meaning in your life. They can bring out the best in you, but you need to make the hard steps on your own. Your dog will be there to support you on your journey, appreciate them while you can. They will help you with the small steps in life, and only later you will realise they were the big ones.