Encouraging Growth, Changing Lives
Enriching Communities

3 Ways a Dog Can Help with Depression

3 Ways a Dog Can Help with Depression

It is estimated that around 40 million adults in the U.S. are living with depression.

It is estimated that around 40 million adults in the U.S. are living with depression.  When you’re living with depression, simply getting out of bed in the morning can feel like a monumental task. Luckily, there are many little things that you can do to be proactive and help yourself feel better, such as eating healthy, sticking to a routine, and getting some exercise. Did you know that having a dog can really help your emotional state as well? Studies have shown that having a dog can help alleviate many of the common symptoms of depression. They help to ease feelings of loneliness, reduce stress and anxiety, and encourage exercise.

Daily Exercise

Your dog needs some sort of exercise every day. Usually, that means a walk around your neighborhood or a local park. When you walk your dog, you are getting exercise as well! Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which combat depression. Since dogs thrive on routine, your furry friend will remind you to walk them every day! Having that consistency in your daily schedule can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and may even improve your sleep patterns as well!

Be Social

One of the most common symptoms of depression is loneliness. Your dog can help with that, not only by giving you someone to live with but also by encouraging you to get out of the house. When you’re out with your dog at the park or even just a walk down the street, you have a reason to talk to new people and people tend to talk to you more as well. Even if they just ask to pet the dog and talk about him or her, those short little conversations can make your day better! Face-to-face interaction -no matter how short- can improve your emotional state, especially if you’re going through a depressive episode.

Improve Your Self-Esteem

Another common symptom of depression is feeling like you’re less, like everyone is somehow better than you for whatever reason. Having a dog is a lot of responsibility. You have to make sure they are well cared for every day. They need to be fed, given clean water, exercised, cleaned up after, and loved. When you see that your dog is well cared for, you’re also showing yourself that you really can take care of another living thing, which can really boost your self-esteem. Your dog thinks the world of you. Look at yourself through their eyes. You feed them, play with them, snuggle with them, and so much more. In return, you get un-conditional, undying love and support and that is the best part of having a dog.

Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!

Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilitiesvisit here.