Dog therapists help reduce depression in children as well as in adults

Dogs and other pets can be beneficial for their owners in terms of physical but also mental health. There is truth in saying that a dog is a man's best friend, stands by his owner even at the most difficult times and his presence can even help deal with mental problems, such as depression or anxiety! 

For many people, their dog companions are an endless source of joy. Not only are dogs used in healthcare for their ability to sense serious illnesses, they are also very sensitive to people's mental state and make them feel calmer.

Emotional support

Just the presence of a dog can be of great help to people suffering from mental problems, such as depression and anxiety. It is their unconditional love and touch that can reduce stress levels and release the hormones of happiness.

One of the therapeutic effects is that pets satisfy the basic human need for touch. Stroking, hugging or touching a beloved animal in any way can quickly calm you down when you are stressed or anxious. The presence of a pet also alleviates the feeling of loneliness.  

Regular routine

Many pets and especially dogs require regular care, such as feeding and exercise. People who suffer from a mental illness usually do not feel the need to follow a regular daily routine. A dog brings that routine into their life as they have to plan walks, feeding and playing which provides entertainment for the owners and occupies their minds. As a result, this regular and increased activity can help reduce stress levels, improve sleep as well as the overall mental state. 

Exercise and fresh air 

Exercise and the change of environment is an integral part of the treatment of depression.  Dog owners are forced to go for regular walks and occasionally play with the dog. This ensures regular outdoor exercise, which is beneficial in fighting depression and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins - the happiness hormones, which improves the mood naturally. 

How do dogs help with anxiety? 

Dogs help with anxiety and other mental illnesses in a similar way as they help with depression. Their presence increases the production of oxytocin, which reduces stress and fear, and it also solves the problem of people feeling lonely. This helps with all kinds of mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression.

Support for all ages, including children! 

Unfortunately, mental illnesses do not bypass children. However, dog companions provide support for them as well. It seems that children who grow up with a dog have a lower probability of developing these mental problems. 

Dogs, as well as other pets, contribute to the healthy emotional development in children. Through play and interaction with a pet, children learn all the important aspects of practical life, such as communication, consideration and care. In addition, children have a friend who provides them with constant emotional support, promotes their imagination and makes establishing friendships with other children easier. 

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