They say that dog is man’s best friend, and this is because dogs have been helping man and improving their mood for a very long time. Dogs are loyal companions, and this loyalty is expressed through unconditional love and a constant need to please.
If you suffer from depression or simply need a quick pick me up, you may want to invest in a dog. The following are five ways that dogs can help to improve your mood.
1. They can make you feel less alone.
Dogs are the best companions, and if you’re single or live alone, a dog can make your home feel less dreary and livelier. Instead of coming home to an empty house, you will come home to an animal that loves you. They may not be able to have conversations with you, but you can talk to your dog, and they can sit with you while you eat dinner or watch television, which can help to suppress the loneliness.
2. They can make you feel important.
Dogs depend on you to survive. They need you to feed them, to play with them, to let them out, to provide them with exercise and to give them love. A dog can improve your mood by making you feel important and giving you something to care about. If you don’t have a family, your dog can be your family. They can be the one thing you love, the one thing you take care of, and the one thing you look forward to when you get home from work.
3. They will force you to exercise.
While exercising may not sound like something you’ll enjoy, exercise has been known to improve your energy levels and raise your endorphins, which provides you with happier thoughts. Dogs require exercise, which means that you’ll be forced to exercise. You can take them for walks or to a dog park or you can simply play fetch in your own backyard. Either way, you’ll be getting off the couch and getting some much-needed exercise that could help you feel better.
4. They can give you an outlet for stress.
When you’re sad or upset, bottling up the things that bother you will only make you feel worse. Your dog can help to improve your mood by giving you an outlet for your stress. Instead of keeping your feelings bottled up inside, your dog can be there to listen. They can let you rant and rave about whatever it is that is bothering you, and they won’t judge you. Even though they may not be able to offer their advice, simply being there to listen can easily take a ton of weight off your shoulders and make you feel better.
5. They can help you socialize.
Sometimes the best way to feel better is to get out into the world, and make some new friends. Dogs can easily assist you with this. Dogs make great conversation starters, so walking your dog through your neighborhood, going to a dog park or taking your dog to a pet-friendly establishment can help to generate a conversation between you and another individual, and this conversation can easily blossom into a new friendship.
Image donated by Roanna Williams in support of INAPL.org
- License: Image author owned
- License: Creative Commons image source
Kathy White is an animal assisted therapist and guest blogger who loves to write about training products and regimens for animals with the intent of using them to improve mental health.