We all experience our fair share of depression and anxiety but for those whose conditions run deep, a dog may be just what the doctor ordered. Dog therapy anyone?
According to Dr. Katie Kangas, co-founder of the Pet Wellness Academy, anxiety and depression start from within. Negative self-talk can cause a person to spiral downward and lose touch with reality. The problem deepens when the person spends a great deal of time alone.
A companion-dog can help revitalize and give a sense of purpose.
Dr. Kangas was joined by certified behavioralists to study the ways dogs can assist those suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Dogs are real. They’re not someone on a screen, on the phone or in a text message. They’re live, warm and available.
- Dogs motivate. They need to be fed, watered and played with. And best of all, they’ll “nudge in” until satisfied.
- Dogs are non-reactionary when a person is stressed or having a panic attack. This doesn’t mean the dog is unaware or uncaring. But it keeps it’s cool.
- Dogs love unconditionally. Their humans don’t need to look, smell or speak in ways that win approval.
Dogs can lift our spirits and take us away from the confinements of home
It’s great to have a furry companion on hand for those gloomy, stay inside days. They’re a constant reminder of life around us and won’t take easily to neglect.
Thus, they keep us going even when we’d rather close the drapes.
Our faithful dogs love us well-enough, but they’re also happy to get out and run. Time spent walking a park or even around the yard, gets us some sunshine which also boosts our mental and physical health.
Listen to your dog. He or she may have better things to say than the depressing echoes of your thoughts.
And listen to your grandkids. Many times when they want to take the doggie for a walk or toss it a frisbee out back, it’s for your benefit.
And if they wish to watch it stand on hind legs for a biscuit, by all means, have some handy and oblige.