Dogs are known as “man’s best friend.” They provide companionship, love, and support to their owners. But did you know that dogs can also help people with anxiety? Dogs have been shown to be effective in reducing stress levels and improving overall moods.
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 friend as a family member. Due to their gentle nature and high levels of intelligence, both Labradoodles and Trained 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 with human-animal interaction — and add a little more fun to your life — here’s how a service therapy dog can help.
Reduced Stress Hormones
How do dogs help with anxiety? You don’t need to go through the process of training a psychiatric 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 pet 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 this stressful situation end quickly is to look for something to distract you from your physical and mental health conditions. Whether you have a german shepherd or a golden retriever dog breed, your service animal is the perfect distraction. After all, your furry best friend won’t judge you or interrupt you while you’re working through your feelings. Next time you have a panic attack, take your dog for a walk at the dog park, 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 health 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 disorder is getting out of control, grab your dog for a cuddle session that will have you feeling better in no time.
An Emotional Support Animal Provides Constant Companionship
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 disorder.
Dogs Help in Building Healthy Habits
Dog welfare requires attention every day. So, you learn how to create good habits. Usually, dogs need to be on walk-and-run routes and hiking regularly and pet owners benefit from these exercises. Studies show that dog owners have much higher success rates in achieving the required daily exercise. They can get outside with walks with psychiatric service dogs or riding horses. In turn, their mental health benefits from the increased outdoor lifestyle.
Service Dogs Can Be Great Exercise Partners
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.
Dogs Support Recovery from Mental Illness
Dogs and other furry pets can help with the recovery process after undergoing a severe illness. In an e-mail published in a journal in the journal e-medicine and health, the author described his findings as being relevant for the research. The researchers concluded therefore that pets can help improve the quality of life for individuals. The researchers looked to see how dogs, cats, hamsters, finches and goldfish affect people who suffer from mental illness. Overall, it found pets help to control their emotional responses. Moreover this prevented people from experiencing any mental problems or symptoms. A survey conducted by the University of Manchester involving 54 students in 2016 included more data.
Adopt a Puppy Today to Help with Anxiety Disorder
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