Pets As Therapy: 7 Reasons Why Dogs Make Us Happier

Dogs are amazing creatures. They have been our loyal companions for thousands of years and have adapted to the many tasks we have bred them for. But did you know they offer amazing benefits to our health and happiness too?

pets as therapy

If you are a dog owner, then you know already the health and wellbeing benefits reach further into our deeper being.

For those not able to own a dog for various reasons, then why not borrow a friend’s, become a doggie-sitter or dog-walker so you too can reap the many benefits our furry friends offer?

1. They provide us with companionship

To dogs, we are their whole life. If they had their way they would spend every moment with us. Most pet parents speak to their dogs and they are great company especially if you live alone.

A home without a dog can be a very quiet one! If you do choose to bring a dog into your life, just make sure you respect their need for companionship and not leave them alone for longer than four hours at a time when you can’t be around.

dogs as therapy

2. They help us heal and provide assistance for the sick, aged and disabled.

Assistance dogs have been trained to undertake tasks that most of us take for granted, but are very difficult for disabled persons. Without these dogs, the quality of life for many would be vastly reduced.

In addition to physical tasks, service dogs such as those in pets as therapy, provide therapeutic visits and comfort to those in hospitals, care homes and special needs’ schools.

Dogs have an innate desire to connect with us and understand our human needs.

3. They help keep us healthy

Daily exercise and play time are an essential part of a dog’s health requirements both physically and mentally. Ensuring your dog’s needs are met, in turn helps us burn unwanted calories as well as offering us an opportunity to connect with nature when we walk them.

Stroking a dog produces the feel good hormone serotonin which reduces stress and lowers blood pressure; and it’s been clinically proven that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression.

pets as therapy for depression

4. They make us more sociable

There is no getting away from engaging with other people when you have a dog. Most people are naturally drawn towards dogs even if they are not dog owners themselves. Just try walking down a street without someone stopping you to say hello to your dog!

Dogs are great for helping us meet new people, and help those who are shy or find it difficult to communicate or engage with others.

5. They love us just for who we are.

The love of a dog is unconditional. A dog will never judge based on what you look like or how much money you have. They love you for who you are and not what you have.

They give us 100% devotion. Your dog will always be there for you; they truly are our best friends.

animals as therapy

6. They address our need to nurture

Most of us are born with a need to nurture. Mother Nature has provided us with innate parental instincts. Caring for a dog gives us a sense of purpose and a desire to protect and show love to our furry babies.

7. They make us smile and laugh

We are all aware of how the power of a smile and laughter can lift your mood. There is not a morning I wake up and don’t smile when I see my dogs. Dogs’ cute faces, playfulness, and unconditional love puts a smile on most pet parent’s faces. When out with your dog, I bet when others pass you, they smile at your dog! It’s a special gift that dogs have and one that is super-beneficial for humans!

So there you are. Dogs bring us untold happiness and health benefits. If you are fortunate enough to have a dog in your life please repay the gifts these wonderful creatures give us by providing them with a healthy, loving, happy home and the devotion they deserve in return. 

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About the author

Shirley Pope

After leaving her corporate career to pursue working with her first love – dogs, Shirley launched Pooch Dog Spa. She is a devoted animal lover and has owned and groomed dogs for most of her life. As an active member of several dog rescue charities, Shirley is a foster carer, and has successfully rehabilitated and re-homed a variety of dog breeds. Shirley decided to combine her love of dogs, and her experience of staying at some of the world’s leading hotels and spas, to design a luxury grooming and spa experience for pooches. Pooch Dog Spa was born, and is the first of its kind in Hampshire, UK. Shirley is a proud pet parent to three shih tzus – a shih tzu, a shih tzu/pug cross, and a shih tzu/chihuahua cross. Pinterest Twitter Facebook

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