Health and Mental-Boosting Benefits of Having a Dog

Health and Mental-Boosting Benefits of Having a Dog

Discover a healthier you, How?


By owning a dog.

Dogs and Humans Help Each Other's Mental Health


The relationship between humans and dogs has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health. Studies have found that petting a dog can lower levels of stress and anxiety and boost feelings of happiness and well-being. Additionally, walking and playing with a dog can increase physical activity, which can help improve mood and decrease symptoms of depression.


Owning a dog can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, as well as a sense of companionship and social support. Interacting with a dog can also increase socialisation and opportunities for social interaction, which can be especially beneficial for individuals who are lonely or isolated.


Moreover, dogs have been trained to provide assistance to individuals with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. These assistance dogs can provide comfort and support and help individuals with mental health conditions feel less alone. Dogs do not judge as people do, and that it is extremely important for someone suffering from a mental illness to have a friend that they know will not judge them for anything they’ve done.

Jack Russell playing on its back

Here are Some Scientific Ways in Which Dogs Can Improve Your Mental Health


Lower stress and anxiety levels: Interacting with a dog has been shown to lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress, and increase oxytocin levels, a hormone associated with happiness and relaxation. This can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.


Improved mood

Petting a dog releases the hormone oxytocin in both the dog and the owner, which is associated with feelings of happiness, relaxation, and well-being. Additionally, dogs are often happy and energetic, which can help to improve the mood of their owners. So go ahead and cuddle your pooch today!


Increase physical activity 

Owning a dog often requires regular exercise, such as walking and playing, which can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. This increased physical activity can also improve overall physical health.


Improved self-esteem

Caring for a dog can provide a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, don’t forget to provide them with Farmer Pete’s treats, your dog will show you love like you have never experienced before. This can improve self-esteem. Additionally, owning a dog can increase social opportunities and provide a sense of belonging, which can also boost self-esteem.


Improved sleep

Having a dog in the bed can help people feel more secure and relaxed, leading to improved sleep quality. It promotes Theta Brainwaves. Building on the fact that sleeping with dogs increases the flow of oxytocin, this also has a profound impact on how deeply we sleep. Sleeping with your dog, and the chemicals that accompany the experience, promote theta brainwaves, which are known to occur during the REM stage of sleep.


Enhanced social support

Owning a dog can increase social interaction, as people often stop to chat with owners when out with their pets. This increased social interaction can be beneficial for individuals who are lonely or isolated. So, attending a local dog friendly park will bring great joy to both you and your dog.


Benefits for children

Children who grow up with dogs have been shown to have improved social skills, and reduced anxiety and stress.


Along with Improved cognitive function

According to neurological studies they have found that interacting with a dog can improve cognitive function, including increased attention and memory, problem-solving abilities, and concentration – all key skills for the future success children. Evidence shows that children who own dogs report better grades. They are also better at other activities like games, societies, and art.


Dogs also encourage children to articulate their thoughts and feelings which develops rational thinking skills and socialisation. As dogs don’t judge, criticise, or spill your darkest secrets, children see dogs as confidants and articulate their anxieties in a safe, controlled environment.


Empathy

Numerous studies have highlighted how introducing animals to children at an early age increases levels of empathy, predominately among those who care for both cats and dogs. 


One of the most important lessons for childhood development is empathy. Dogs teach children that the world extends beyond themselves to a network of individuals with their own beliefs, emotions, and desires. Children begin grappling with empathy as early as two years old, and owning a dog teaches them that their actions and responses to situations have a direct impact on how others feel and why that’s important. So next time your little one is teasing the dog and the dog snarls back, think of the lessons learned to your child.


Improved heart health

Owning a dog has been linked to improved heart health, as regular exercise with a dog can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. The physical activity of walking and playing with your dog contributes to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. Several studies have also shown that dog owners have a lower blood pressure than non-owners — probably because their dogs have a calming effect on them and because dog owners tend to get more exercise. The power of touch also appears to be an important part of this "dog effect." Several studies show that blood pressure goes down when a person pets a dog.


Provide sensory stimulation

Dogs provide sensory stimulation through touch, sight, and smell, which can help to improve mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. So cuddly up to your dog, you both will love it.


Reduce symptoms of depression

Owning a dog has been shown to decrease symptoms of depression, as the companionship and responsibility provided by a pet can help to improve mood and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

 

Recommended dog treats for mental health

labrador special training dog for mental health

Some Special Kinds of Dogs for Support and Mental Health


Assistance dogs

Some dogs are specially trained to assist individuals with mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These dogs can provide comfort, support, and increase feelings of safety and security, which can help individuals with mental health conditions feel less alone.


Therapy dogs

In addition to assistance dogs, there are also therapy dogs that are trained to provide comfort and support to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other facilities. These therapy dogs can bring joy, comfort, and a sense of calm to those in need. Therapy dogs are sometimes called "comfort dogs." They support a person's mental health by providing attention and comfort. Their sweet demeanours and unconditional love may have a therapeutic benefit to those who face difficult health challenges. Therapy dogs not only have a positive effect on emotional well-being, but they also have an influence on cognitive development. Interacting with therapy dogs improves students' reading skills, stimulates memory and problem-solving skills, and even optimizes executive-functioning skills.

Dog and a baby together

Relationship Between Dogs and Their Carers Have a Positive Impact on Mental Health


These are just some of the ways in which dogs can improve mental health, and the effects can vary from person to person. However, the scientific evidence supports the idea that dogs can have a positive impact on mental health and can be beneficial for individuals with mental health conditions.


Overall, the relationship between dogs and humans can have a positive impact on mental health, reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, and improving feelings of happiness and well-being. If you're considering getting a dog, it's important to remember that pet ownership comes with responsibilities, such as providing proper care, exercise, and training, don’t forget Farmer Pete’s treats for the training. However, for those who are able to meet these responsibilities, the benefits to mental health can be significant.


Dogs and Mental Health in Conclusion


The relationship between dogs and humans can provide numerous benefits for mental health and go far beyond just reduced stress and improved mood. Owning a dog can also have positive impacts on cognitive function, heart health, depression, increased physical activity, improved self-esteem, improved sleep, enhanced social support, and can provide comfort and support as therapy or assistance dogs. It's important to remember that while dogs can provide numerous benefits, dog ownership comes with responsibilities and should not be taken lightly.



Enjoy a healthier you and your Dog today!

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