Writing for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Steven Feldman reports that 74% of pet owners have experienced improvements in their mental health after adding a furry or feathered friend to the family. Due to their gentle nature and high levels of intelligence, both Labradoodles and Goldendoodles make excellent service dogs or emotional support animals for anyone who struggles with anxiety. If you’re looking for a way to manage your anxiety — and add a little more fun to your life — here’s how a dog can help.
How do dogs help with anxiety? You don’t need to go through the process of training a service dog to benefit from the companionship of a lovable ball of fluff. Having a positive interaction with a companion animal increases the amount of oxytocin in the brain, reducing stress and enhancing your well-being. Often called the love hormone, oxytocin is involved in forming positive social bonds. The bond doesn’t need to be with a human — simply spending time with your lovable dog can trigger a rush of oxytocin, reducing your anxiety level and leaving you feeling a little less stressed.
If you have an anxiety attack, one way to help it end quickly is to look for something to distract you from your physical and psychological symptoms. Whether you have a tiny Chihuahua or a giant Saint Bernard, your dog is the perfect distraction. After all, a dog won’t judge you or interrupt you while you’re working through your feelings. Next time you have an anxiety attack, take your dog for a walk, throw a tennis ball around the house or just have a good cuddle on the couch.
Forming a social bond isn’t the only thing that gets the oxytocin flowing in your brain. Cuddling also triggers the release of this feel-good hormone, which can help reduce anxiety. If you don’t have a significant other, don’t despair. The physical and emotional benefits of cuddling work just as well if you do it with a friend, a child or even a furry companion. If you feel like your anxiety is getting out of control, grab your dog for a cuddle session that will have you feeling better in no time.
If your anxiety increases when you’re home alone, a dog can help you stay grounded and avoid overreacting any time you hear an unexpected noise. When you focus on your dog, you don’t have as much time to think about whether that scraping noise is someone trying to break in or simply a branch brushing against the side of the house. A dog can also help you feel less lonely, improving your emotional health and giving you the strength you need to manage your anxiety.
When you exercise, your body produces endorphins — hormones that make you feel good. These hormones elevate your mood, reducing anxiety and improving your overall well-being. It can be difficult to stay motivated enough to exercise daily, but dogs need regular physical activity. If you have a dog, you’ll be more likely to stick with your exercise routine, which can help you get your anxiety under control.
If you’d like to experience the benefits of owning a well-trained dog, fill out our contact form. Someone from Pride & Prejudoodles will get back to you as soon as possible to talk about our trained Doodles for sale.