Five Reasons Having a Dog is Good for Your Mental Health

Five Reasons Having a Dog is Good for Your Mental Health

Dogs have truly become a part of our families. More and more people are throwing birthday parties for their dogs, including them in their family photos and bringing them on vacation. Dogs are man’s best friend and for good reason. They are good for your mental health.

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1. You learn unconditional love
Dogs really love their humans unconditionally. They are always happy to see you. They don’t stay mad at you too long if you hurt their feelings. They never stop loving you, even when you don’t do things perfectly. They love cuddle sessions. They love to be around you. And that never stops. Humans crave unconditional love and for some people, dogs can help heal them and show them unconditional love, especially when life has showed them something different.

2. You have to exercise
Dogs need to walk. Having a dog forces you to go on walks, thus gaining the secondary benefit of having endorphins released and feeling better. Endorphins are the feel good chemicals in your brain and when they are released, you will feel better. Endorphins are released during exercise. So walk, walk, walk your dog and improve your overall mental health.

3. You have to keep a routine
For anyone who already has a dog, you know that most dogs like to get up in the morning at the same time, walk down the same street, pee in the same spot and eat the same thing for dinner. They are ready to do that same routine every single day and fully expect their human to conform. Having a routine with your dog almost forces you to have a routine for yourself, thus giving you the structured needed in life to be mentally well.

4. You always have a companion
No plans for Friday night? Significant other is out with their friends? Need a partner in crime to watch the latest episode of your favorite television show? No need to worry about feeling lonely, you have your doggie there to sit on the couch with you and snuggle. Dogs help people from feeling lonely and loneliness is a leading risk factor in depression and other mental illnesses.

5. You have purpose in your life
Your new purpose in life is to be the best doggie parent around. To give this dog love, nourishment and fun in his life. Having a dog connects you to other dog owners. Dog owners usually love to talk to other dog owners about their dogs and the life of being a doggie parent.

Interested in becoming a doggie parent? Visit your local Humane Society and adopt a pet today!


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Amanda Landry, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-954-378-5381 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

 

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