How dogs help with our mental health

How dogs help our mental health

How dogs help our mental health

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but how did they earn this title?

We as humans domesticated dogs in the early Neolithic times (7000-5800 BCE). We domesticated them for many reasons.  We are going to focus on just one of those many reasons and that is for our emotional and physical well being.

According to assistancedogs.org.uk. Over 7,000 disabled people rely on an assistance dog for their physical and emotional needs. This includes guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, dogs that have been trained to help around the home, dogs that can warn people before they have a stoke or a fit, emotional support dogs that can help with mental health and many more.

The question I hear you asking is. If my dog is not trained by a professional how does he/she  help with my own emotional wellbeing?

 

All dogs have an amazing range of emotions. Many people still think that they do not have feelings and are emotionless. How many times have you been feeling low and your fur babie has come over to you and just cuddled into you, brought you one of their toys to play or just try and get your attention by making little noises to make you laugh?

 

This is them showing you that they understand you are feeling down and what makes them feel better and happy is a cuddle or a game if they can distract you,  they know you will feel better. Smart hey?

How dogs help with our mental health continues!

How dogs help our mental health

How dogs help our mental health

 

Lets compare our 4 legged babies to human babies. There are so many similarities that you wouldnt think of, they both need love, attention, feeding and exercise, they both learn through play and both babies and dogs can not communicate verbally so they use their emotions. A baby will cry when it needs something,

 

A dog will learn the best way to show you, for example our staffordshire bull terrier Coby will go into our kitchen where his food bowl is and put his paws up onto the worktop directly infront of his bowl to show it is dinner time. If he needs to go to the toilet and the door is closed to our garden he will pace from the door to where we are.

When you are battling with your mental health do you just not see the point of getting out of bed some days? This is where our fur babies help, they need breakfast and are in need of that morning wee, if you dont get up and do this for them then who will? This has already given you a reason to get out of bed and a sense of purpose.

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Have you got out of bed and now really dont feel like you can face the world because your anxiety is not allowing you to? Do you then sit on the sofa turn on the TV and not move? I know I do.  All of a sudden, do you feel a nudge on your arm and those warm loving eyes are staring back at you waiting for a cuddle and showing you are not alone they love you.

 

Dogs do not judge us, they give unconditional love. This is important when you suffer with mental health and feel that the world around you is judging everything about you, feeling  loved, wanted and needed when you are with your dog lifts your mood and makes the day easier to face. Exercise is great at releasing endorphines but not all of us are gym buffs so what better way to exercise than take your fur babie for walkies?

How dogs help our mental health

I know the owner of collectibulldogs has mental health disorders so asked to have their dog added the beautiful Porscha

Mentalhealth.org says that 4-10% of people in England will experiance mental health in their lifetime, this is 1 in 6.8 people. So why are we ashamed to speak up about our mental health and why when we do are we judged and made to feel like we are a bad person?

 

The way we can help to end the stigma surrounding mental health conditions is to be more like our fur babies and not judge someone on their condition. When we pass someone in the street smile and say good morning/afternoon, our dogs always wag their tails when they see people and other dogs. So let us all take a leaf out of their book, by being kind to others.

 

If you are worried about your own mental health do not be afraid to speak to your doctor they can help you in many ways from medication to counselling. There are also many charities that can help you. many have websites that you can visit.

 

You are not alone in your journey, you can and will feel better with the correct help in place it doesnt make you weak asking for help, it makes you strong. There is no quick fix to mental health and every person has a different journey to go on.

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