A Dog’s Love… helping to keep us emotionally fit.

Jeanne Blandford | October 08, 2021

happy woan receiving dog kisses

Four in 10 Americans are struggling with a mental health issue or drug-related problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, self-deprivation, stress or loneliness can be a constant battle. Often fought alone.

For those of us lucky enough to have found a companion in a dog, there are many proven facts that canine companions can help reduce mental health issues. Here are a few ways our canine friends help keep us emotionally healthy:

  • The knowledge that you are caring for someone else - can make the world of difference. Having a living being that is dependent on you for food, shelter, love and medical needs gives one the sense of worthiness, of making a difference. That feeling alone can give one purpose, a reason to get up in the morning and start a new day.
  • Distractions from one’s troubles – everyone has bad days and a pet companion can help distract you from the things that are bothering you at that time. Taking a little time out from your worries can help put things in perspective.
  • Walking – a path to a better you – scheduling regular walking times will keep your mind and body active. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body that can give one a “natural high. So grab the leash and go for a walk!
  • Social Interaction – many of us find it hard to meet people.  A dog can be the perfect unifier. Dog lovers share a commonality – they love dogs! – So when meeting someone new, a comment about your dog is a natural ice breaker. A single complement can turn into a canine question which may ignite a longer discussion. Even a single passing smile of acknowledgment can make your day brighter.
  • Unconditional Love – we’ve all heard it – a dog’s love is unconditional and because of this we also know that sharing time with someone who loves you for loving them is time well spent.

dog and woman staring at one another

According to a Nationwide Human Animal Bond Research (HABRI) survey, 96% of pet owners agreed that their pet has had a positive impact on their life. 85% of pet owners reported their pet brings them joy, 82% said their pet comforts them, and 73% said their pet enhances their mental health.

Visualize this quote and see if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face!

“When an eighty-five pound mammal licks your tears away, then tries to sit on your lap, it's hard to feel sad.”

― Kristan Higgins, Catch of the Day