I have seen so many people in groups, forums and websites ask the question “do dogs help someone with mental health?” Well why not read my story and come to your own conclusion on this subject matter.
I have suffered with depression and severe anxiety for quite a few years now and to say it can knock you off your feet is an understatement. When I have had a horrid day, the kids are in bed and I’m feeling alone… I snuggle my dogs, within minuets I feel my stress melt away and I start to relax.
So what makes having a dog so perfect for someone like me who struggles with these horrible mental health issues? Let me explain how I see it.
Never Alone – I never have to feel trapped inside my own head because owning 2 dogs sure as hell keeps me on my toes. They stop me having time to over think things. If I get to a point of over thinking I jump into a training session with them or a play session.
Getting out – My anxiety had me at the point of never wanting to leave the house. Some days the very thought of leaving the house was enough to set me into panic mode. Dogs need to be walked so every morning we grab those leads and we venture out to the park. If I’m feeling a little anxiety creeping I engage in a game of fetch on the field or have them chase me so my body does not switch in fight or flight mode.
Social – My Dogs have made me become more social as we often come across other dogs and their owners on our walks. While my dogs get a good run around with furry friends I become engaged in doggy chat with the other owners. This helps with my social anxiety.
Love – my dogs always seem to sense when I’m having a troublesome day, on these days they tend to show me more love and attention than usual. My dogs are by no means trained to be therapy dogs but they sure do make my days a lot easier.
They say a dog is a humans best friend and I now understand why that saying exists. Remember to give your dog back just as much love as you receive from them after all you are all they have.