Why Dogs Are Good For Our Mental Health

Jim Bean in the sun. Photo: By the author.

This week marks world mental health awareness week.

Dogs are known as mans best friends but for some people they are much more than that.  For many people dogs have a more prominent role in supporting their emotional health and mental well-being. Here are just a few of the reasons why dogs can be the perfect form of therapy.

 1) They are always happy to see you 

No matter what time of day it is or how low you are feeling, your four legged companion will always be pleased to see you walk through the front door. Being greeted with a happy bark, wagging tail and big puppy dog eyes can really  make your day when everything else feels like it is a bit too much of a struggle.


2) Dogs rely on their human counterparts

Dogs literally rely on their human owners to stay alive – for food, shelter and warmth. Without us they’d be left to fend for themselves and there are not that many domesticated dogs that would do too good at that nowadays. Whilst this brings a serious responsibility, it also provides a reason to get up, a reason to go outside and a reason to care about something outside of ones own struggles. Taking care of a dog can also help someone realise the importance of taking care of themselves.

3) Dogs are a reason to get outside

Sometimes a long fresh walk is enough to help clear your mind or see things from a brighter perspective. Having a dog means that it is your job to take them outside and give them enough exercise – there is nothing quite as annoying as a house-bound puppy. Sometimes this added motivation might be all you need to wrap up warm and head out for the fresh air and exercise you need to give your mental well-being a boost.

4) Dogs give the best snuggles

Nothing beats curling up with your pooch when your not feeling your best. Not only that but dogs are great listeners who never pass judgement giving you time to rest, relax and recover.

5) Dogs provide unconditional love

Dogs do not care what you look like, your weight, your skin colour, your religion, your race, your past. As long as you are there for them your affection  is reciprocated and all of us need a little love from time to time.

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