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6 Psychological Benefits of Owning a Dog

February 2021 - Any dog owner will tell you how much they enjoy spending time with their dog and how they are part of their family, but until you have a canine companion of your own, it is difficult to understand the true extent of their positive impact. Being a dog owner has many physical benefits, such as more motivation to get outside, and exercise and spending time with animals has been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. However, what many people do not appreciate is the positive effect dogs can have on our mental health and emotional wellbeing. In this article, you will find six powerful psychological benefits of owning a dog.

1. Reduced stress

There are numerous scientific studies that have found spending time with dogs to be a great way to reduce stress and boost your mood and energy levels. In fact, therapy dogs are frequently used in hospitals and as part of mental health treatment to help patients in their recovery. Dogs can be a calming and comforting influence for people who are going through emotional turmoil, such as bereavement, or those who have suffered traumatic events. There is a growing school of thought that dogs can tell the difference between negative and positive human emotion in their owners and adapt their behavior to help them.

2. Structure and purpose

Caring for a dog means sticking to a regular routine and ensuring that they are in good physical condition through proper diet, hydration, exercise, and regular grooming with The responsibility of owning a dog gives you routine and a sense of purpose, which is important for your self-esteem and mental health.

3. Connection with nature

Dogs need to be walked every day, which means their owner is regularly spending time outside in nature. Whether walking through a city, park, in the countryside, or along a beach, the exercise, fresh air, and sunlight can relieve stress, boost your mood, reduce pain, and improve your overall health.

4. Socialization

Having a dog can open more opportunities to be social, which is important as humans have a natural need to be part of a social group. Walking your dog in the local area will almost inevitably bring you into contact with other dog owners, and when the dogs wish to greet each other with a sniff, you have the chance to converse with the owner. You might also be able to join a dog walking club or attend events, such as fun or competitive dog shows, in your local community.

5. Companionship

Loneliness and depression are common issues in modern society, but dog ownership can help to alleviate both. Dogs give their owners unconditional love, accept them exactly as they are, and want nothing more than to be by their sides as much as possible. This companionship can be a great help in alleviating the symptoms of depression and can reduce anxiety.

6. Mindfulness

Dogs live in the moment. They do not worry about what has happened before or wonder what will happen in the future. Dogs are purely focused on the here and now and enjoying every moment, and humans could learn a lot from this attitude. When you are out on a walk with your dog, focus on the sensation of the breeze, sun, or rain on your skin, and listen to the birds. Take time to play a game with your dog when you think of nothing but their happiness. When you relax with them on the couch, match your breathing to theirs to ease tension in your body.

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