Mental Health Awareness Month - The Joy Dogs Bring
Dog Parent, Rebecca, with her dog Nash at Dogdrop Dog Daycare in Los Angeles, CA.
🐾 Benefits of dogs to human mental health:
Cuddles, kisses and playing aside, there are various health benefits to humans through dog ownership. Non-dog owners view adding a furry family member as an added stressor to your life, but scientifically speaking this could not be further from the truth. Dogs have been proven to provide us comfort from things such as depression and anxiety, which affects more than 40 million adults in the United States alone. In addition, sleep problems can be alleviated by owning a dog by providing a sense of companionship. The act of petting and talking to a dog was shown to be a major factor in decreasing blood pressure, which lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, and even premature death.
🐾 Findings from dog parents during the pandemic (survey findings):
Wag! surveyed Pet Parents to see how owning a dog during the 2020 pandemic impacted their mental health. 96% of respondents said their dog, or other pet, improved their mental health during the 2020 quarantine. 98% of respondents said their pet made them feel less lonely and 92% feel their pet can sense that they are having a bad day. 85% of respondents said taking care of their pet gives them a sense of purpose, responsibility, structure and routine which improves their mood and mental health. A close second at 84% of respondents said walking and exercise helps them get energized also improving their mental health and mood. During a time where our daily lives were disrupted, dogs were there for us.
🐾 Dogs provide humans mental health benefits, but what about the dogs:
Humans also play an impact in the lives of dogs. Humans are able to provide dogs a consistent exercise routine, helping them to channel their energy into a health-conscious activity to aid in digestion, weight management and even bonding. Dogs interact with their owners the way a baby will interact with its mother. They view us as family and as though we are all a part of the same pack. They choose to protect us even if it is just a delivery man knocking at the door.
🐾 How to meet dogs needs as well - mental stimulation and socialization could be through meeting a new Wag! walker or going to group play at Dogdrop:
Socialized dogs have much less anxiety in unfamiliar situations such as meeting new people and even for vet visits or dog sitting services. Being around other dogs helps them gain confidence and stay mentally stimulated while learning new things. The breakdown of how much activity your dog needs can be sectioned into groups by breed categories such as toy breeds and working breeds. Aligning this with your personal schedule, you may discover the need for some outside support through dog walking services or even dog daycare services. This will prevent any negative effects from your pup's pent-up energy, such as chewing furniture or using your carpet as a bathroom. Throughout history, dogs have always been active, so getting them out of the house to let off some steam is always good for them!