How dogs can help with your mental and physical health

Dogs Health:: Having pets is a great way to instantly boost your mood every day and get rid of all your worries. When it comes to dogs, they can be your best friends! You can count on them to cheer you up on your bad days. Cuddling a fur baby is soothing and calming to the senses. Even looking at the pictures of your dog can make you happier. Also, dogs are proven to be relatively better companions for humans than any other domesticated animal.

According to Marion Janner, a mental health campaigner, “Dogs are known to love their owners unconditionally regardless of their age, gender, profession, etc.” They are easygoing and can be taken out for a walk at any hour during the day. They are great at taking care of children and protecting them against harm. Moreover, they can be very therapeutic if a person is mourning the loss of his loved ones. They are good at showering humans with utmost care and comfort that can help a person move on from any tough situation in life.

What makes a dog so therapeutic?

Living with a dog is therapeutic for your mind. You can achieve countless benefits by owning a dog. Here is a list of aspects that make dogs so therapeutic for humans.

1. Social recognition

Dogs tend to have the unique trait of treating their owners like royalty. From a dog’s perspective, the person who takes good care of them values them the most. Hence, they prioritize bonding well with humans like a mother-child relationship. This quality of dogs is called social recognition.

The powerful impact of social recognition from dogs helps people to connect better with other people. With dogs, you are less likely to experience depression or loneliness as well as physical sicknesses. Hence, we see many old-age men and women living alone with a dog that helps them stay happy and healthy as it prevents them from isolating socially with other people.

2. Dogs and self-care

The way you care for your dogs reflects your inner self-care and overall coping mechanism. For example, getting the right food for your dog on time indicates that you have a proper meal plan for yourself as well. Taking your dog to a pet store to buy his favorite toys shows that you are capable of taking care of your needs and wants as well. It is an effective way for physically disabled people to have a cute, little cuddle buddy that could instantly show some affection and alleviate their daily stresses. For socially anxious people, when it comes to face the day, they may feel a bit reserved towards other people they come across with. However, going out with a dog lets them socialize with dog-lovers very effortlessly.

3. Emotionally fulfilling

There are many reasons why dogs are considered therapy animals. They have proven to significantly elevate a person’s oxytocin levels, also known as love hormones. These hormones are associated with positive emotions within a human being. They can relieve a person from panic attacks and mental strain.

4. Relieve symptoms of dementia and epilepsy

Dogs are an effective remedy against symptoms of dementia. According to a study conducted in 2011, people who were close to companion dogs experienced fewer mental disorders caused by dementia. Also, their heart rate was in control with a peaceful behavior unlike the rest of the patients who didn’t have dogs to stay surrounded with. Similarly, having a service dog is a good way to stay alert regarding the intake of seizure-blocking medication for people with epilepsy.

5. Children with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder

If your child is experiencing symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), having dogs can benefit them in various ways. From taking care of the dog’s needs on time to being responsible for cleaning up after a dog, your child will learn different techniques for planning and executing daily tasks promptly. As a result, the excessive routine chores will enable your child to make use of his energy very healthily. Taking the dog to the park will allow him to keep a check on his surroundings and stay calm throughout the day. As a result, the ability to concentrate during a class or homework will significantly increase, making him focus better. The bond between your child and dog will lead to a healthy balance between physical energy and the level of attention required to carry out a task. Therefore, you will notice an increased level of self-confidence within your child. On the other hand, for those experiencing autism, playing with a dog will improve their sense of touch, smell, and sound. Dogs have proven to reduce sensory activity within the brain and enhance serotonin levels that impact autistic children to form social connections.

How dogs can improve your physical health

Dogs can be very beneficial for your physical health. Here is a list of ways dogs can improve your physical health.

1. Cardiovascular conditions

Taking the dog out for a walk every day is the best cardiovascular activity, which helps patients recover quickly after a surgical process. According to Harvard Health, dog owners tend to have lower levels of cholesterol, and triglycerides within their bloodstream. Also, spending quality time with dogs can help prevent their owners from developing hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

2. Prevent from a sedentary lifestyle

Living with a dog requires a great deal of physical activity. From bathing your dog and cleaning after it, you need to stay on your toes all the time. As a result, you stay active throughout the day which prevents you from developing a sedentary lifestyle. According to a study conducted in 2019, dog owners are four times more likely to hit their mark of daily physical activity than non-dog owners. It was observed that dog owners walk around 300 minutes per week taking care of their pet while a non-dog owner walks only 100 minutes per week on average.

Having dogs at your home can be very emotionally fulfilling as well as physically stimulating. Whether you are experiencing physical health conditions or mental health disorders, getting a dog can be a life savior. It’s easier to exchange physical affection with a dog than any other pet. A loyal dog won’t let you down or leave you alone at the hour of need. Nor drain your physical energy by hindering your daily routine.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: