Whether you have a dog or other kind of pet, it is proven that they have a positive affect on our mental health, including decreased anxiety and depression, improved self-esteem and creating a sense of purpose. Studies also show that children who have strong bonds with their dog, also have strong relationships with their parents and closest friends.
Let’s have a look at the positive impact that a furry friend can give us:
Studies showed that when you pet a dog or even be in the presence of them can lower blood pressure and therefore anxiety. People have a psychological need for physical touch, petting your dog decreases violence, builds trust, boosts our immune system and reduces stress.
Dogs need daily care. Taking care of their dog will give your children a feeling of responsibility by creating structure and routines when it comes to feeding, exercising and cleaning up after their dog. It will help to improve responsible behavior as well as providing a sense of organization, which is important for mental health, because it creates stability and a sense of control over our lives.
Dogs can help in building social skills and relationships. Your child creates a special bond with their dog, which teaches them about compassion and how to take care of a living creature. These skills can be translated in their day to day life when they are interacting with other people, which is especially helpful for children who are shy or have a hard time in social settings.
Having a dog reduces the level of depression. The comfort and companionship of a pet can make us feel less lonely. When your dog comes to you whether it is when you are at home or when he greets you enthusiastically when arriving home, it reminds you of not being alone. Your dog depends on you, so it also gives you a purpose, because you have someone you need to take care of. On days that you feel too depressed to even get out of bed, you have to, because your furry friend needs you to take him out, it provides you or your children with a motivation, which could change the perspective of the entire day.
A dog can be a great companion. Before getting a dog, make sure to do your research to find out which breed is the best fit for you and/or your children.
Want to know where you can go with your furry friend? Download the Doggies in Town app (Android or iOS) to find out about all the dog-friendly places near you, as well as dog products and services.