The short answer to “Can dog alleviate emotional health issues?” is a resounding yes! Many studies have shown that dogs can help to reduce symptoms of conditions like anxiety, depression, and stress. They can ease loneliness too.
Furthermore, simply playing with a dog can elevate dopamine and oxytocin levels, which in turn creates positive feelings in both the person and the dog.
Let’s explore how dogs can benefit from emotional health issues in more detail.
Dogs Are Great Listeners
First off, dogs are great listeners. They instinctively know how you’re feeling and will help to comfort you when you’re down or dealing with emotional issues.
Dogs don’t talk back. Nor do they judge. But they know how to listen. And sometimes all it takes is confiding in another living being to feel better about your emotional problems.
Dogs Make Excellent Choices for Emotional Support Animals
Knowing that dogs are one of the most popular choices for emotional support animals should be proof enough that they’re ideal for helping people to alleviate emotional health issues.
Emotional support pets can provide love and companionship to their owners and they can be particularly effective for people who have emotional issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and social phobias.
So, if you suffer from an emotional or mental health problem, speak to your doctor about whether an emotional support dog could help and how to go about getting one.
Dogs Help You to Stay Active and Be Sociable
When you have an emotional health issue like depression or anxiety, it can be very challenging to do simple things like leave the house and socialize with other people.
But by getting exercise and fresh air, and meeting new people, you can alleviate various emotional health symptoms.
When you have a dog, you’ll need to take him out for a walk every day, which means you’re forced to exercise along with your dog. In turn, that will release endorphins, which help to fight depression and anxiety.
And when you exercise regularly and consistently, you can dramatically improve your symptoms and enhance your quality of life.
Furthermore, by walking your dog, you’re sure to meet other dog owners in the park or on walks, and having more social contact with people will do wonders for helping you alleviate feelings of loneliness. Over time, you can become less anxious around new people.
Having a Dog Gives You Purpose and Can Help You Gain Self-worth
When you care for a pet, you will feel more wanted, gain responsibility in your life, and feel as though you have a purpose. In turn, that means you will focus less on your emotional health symptoms.
By taking care of a dog, you can gain reassurance that you are able to care for another living being and, in turn, you’ll be able to better care for yourself.
Dogs Provide Unconditional Love
While many studies have shown just how much owning a dog can help people with emotional health issues like depression and anxiety, at the end of the day, we all instinctively know just how loving dogs can be.
We all know that they’re loyal too.
When you have an animal in your life every day that provides unconditional love, you’re sure to feel comforted, safe, and happier, regardless of what your specific emotional health issue is.
The Beatles sang “All you need is love.” But they could have added: “And a dog can give you that love.”