Dogs are everyday heroes: not only do they bravely work together with humans in life-saving situations, such as police or missing person searches, but they offer us companionship and unconditional love – they truly are our best friends.
Here are some ways sharing our lives with a canine companion can improve our mental health...
Dogs get us out of the house
They are great at encouraging people to get out and exercise in the fresh air – this can be beneficial for those who suffer with depression. Taking your dog for a lovely walk can also lead to socialising with other dog owners.
Dogs are there for you
Living with a dog can give owners a sense of security and someone to spend the day with. Affectionate and loving, dogs make the perfect companion especially for those living alone or the elderly. They make us feel needed and loved every day!
Dogs help to keep you calm
The companionship of a dog can add comfort for those who suffer with anxiety. Not only are dog walks a motivation for those anxious about leaving the house, but their naturally loving and carefree characters can help get your mind off of stressful thoughts.
Their positive impact can be seen all the way through our blood, with research showing that simply being with a pet can lower the levels of stress hormones.
Dogs help to build a routine
Routines can be a great structure for anyone suffering with depression or anxiety – but they are particularly important for people on the Autism spectrum. Dogs need regular feeding, exercising and care, all requirements that contribute to building a solid routine.
Some studies shows that for people on the Autism spectrum, dogs can reduce stereotyped behaviour, lessen sensory sensitivity, and increase the desire and ability to connect socially with others.
Dogs make us proud
A lot of effort goes into looking after our dogs and keeping them healthy and happy. With every trick that they learn, every ball fetched, every stick picked up from the ground and every passing stranger smiling, dogs help us feel proud of our hard work and improve our self-esteem.
Around the world, dogs keep us company and protect us, but this precious relationship is under threat.
Cruelty to dogs
Every year, 10 million dogs are killed by poisoning, stoning and electrocution, in an attempt to stop the spread of rabies, which kills 59,000 people each year.
We have been working for 30 years to make better lives for dogs, because we know that our life is so much better with dogs. It is our duty to protect and care for them.