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The Puppy Prescription: How Your Furry Friend Can Help You Stay Healthy

Updated: Dec 20, 2023



Dogs are therapeutically boosting our mental health.


Dogs bring joy to people of all ages. From small children, up to great-grandparents love interacting with dogs, big and small.


It's then no surprise that our canine friends positively impact our mental health and well-being. Dogs provide a wide range of stress-relieving activities, from a leisurely pat on the sofa to walking (or running) around your local park.


Dogs make excellent companions due to their ability to understand us on a deeper level. Yes, they understand simple words and commands but connect to our emotions and body language. You'd be surprised how many dogs know when you need a furry cuddle after a sad or stressful day.



If dogs were doctors, what 'paw- prescriptions' do you think they would give us for better health and happiness?

  • 0%Daily doses of belly rubs and ear scratches

  • 0% Playtime outdoor adventures

  • 0%Cuddle naps together

  • 0%Lots of love, tail wags, and slobbery kisses





How do dogs improve our health?


Dogs reduce stress and lower blood pressure- Petting a dog has been proven to lower stress hormones. The repetitive motion helps calm the body and the mind. Interacting with your pouch has also been reported to increase oxytocin levels, the feel-good hormone.


Increase physical activity- Owning a dog means lots of time outside. Not many people like to exercise in bad weather; dog owners don't have a choice and have to exercise their dogs regardless of wind, rain, or snow.


Ease loneliness and depression- Dogs can provide a sense of purpose, needing care and attention from their owners. They can also provide social interaction and opportunities, meeting like-minded people with similar canine interests.



Why are dogs a man's best friend?

Dog owners everywhere believe their dogs make them happier and better people and even report finding it easier to get up in the morning due to their friendly pet's happy faces and wagging tails.


But why do dogs make us so happy?


● Dogs give us unconditional love and stand by us through the good and bad times. They are non-judgmental and give us patience, kindness, and compassion.


● Dogs help us release all the happy hormones, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins whilst caring for all their needs.



How can a dog help you live a healthy life?


Creating more positive routines within your life can help relieve anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. Dogs provide plenty of reasons to change your life for the better.


Read the list below to find out how.


Increase exercise- Have a few pounds to lose; owning a dog means you are more likely to get out in the fresh air and meet your daily exercise goals. Dog owners are shown to lose more weight over a year than non-dog owners.


Dogs provide companionship- Nothing stops you from feeling isolated than coming home to a happy wagging tail at the end of the day. Caring for a dog can decrease symptoms of depression by giving you a purpose and another living being to talk to if you live alone.


Help reduce anxiety- Owning a dog can help reduce anxiety by providing comfort and improving self-confidence. Dogs can help you become more mindful and find happiness in the present moment, giving you less time to dwell on negative thoughts.



Add structure to your day- Dogs help provide a routine to your day. They need feeding, socializing, and walking. If you are home a lot, you can plan your days around your dog's needs to help keep you active and give you a purpose.



 






Reflection

  1. Do you own a dog? What do you think is the more immense benefit of owning a dog?

  2. Have you ever noticed feeling refreshed and more settled after walking your dog?

  3. Do different dog breeds boost our mental health differently?

  4. Can your dog tell when you need that extra snuggle?


 





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