Dogs have been used for many years to aid people with illnesses and disabilities. Their skills in helping people navigate life are well known and after all, they are man’s best friend. I know that adopting my rescue dog has been a huge part of my recovery from anxiety and depression so here are the reasons why adopting a dog can help your mental health.
Rescuing an animal makes you feel good
Just the act of deciding to rescue a dog rather than buy one can make you feel good. Knowing that you have saved a stray or abandoned dog can make you feel better about yourself as a person. Many of these dogs have had a bad start in life and the journey of healing is so much more special when you are doing it together.
Dogs are great companions
Since I have adopted my boy I am never alone. As my son is at school and I work from home I spent a lot of the week alone with my thoughts. Having a dog around makes the house feel less empty and isolating and give me someone to talk to.
A good guard dog makes you feel safe
My anxiety was always at its worse overnight. I would lie awake for hours if I had heard a noise or be unable to get to sleep if something had triggered me throughout the day. Getting a dog fixed this immediately. Now I know we are safe and if anything does happen I will be alerted by him making a racket!
Caring for a dog requires leaving the house
We all know that exeercise and fresh air helps our mental heath. But knowing the theory and actually getting out there and doing it are two different things. Owning a dog means you take daily walks and improve you mood whilst doing so. Getting outside is also great for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).