When it comes to improving our health, something that really can make such a difference is our dogs.
Personally I own two dogs, and most of my friends have either owned a dog or still do.
Dogs can pick up on many things, our body language, our movement, our thoughts and our feelings.
Today I want to share how a dog can help your mind, heart and body.
When it comes to the mind, my dogs pick up when I am feeling anxious. Rolo my oldest dog, always comes and sits by my side, Rolo then passes me his paw and he grips my hand.
It’s not much, but its like he understands me and what I’m feeling. When my anxiety first started it was seven years ago, which was around the time we brought Rolo home. If I ever felt anxious or I was about to have a panic attack, I would always go to where Rolo was, give him a cuddle. Therefore I was then focusing my attention on Rolo. There was no focus on my anxiety.
As for Otto he stays really close to me when I’m anxious. I never taught him to do this, but he does it anyway. He will not leave my side, and also he always sits on my feet just letting me know that he’s there. Right there.
When it comes to relieving depression. (Something I’ve never talked about before here, but I do have).
You have to wake up every morning and get out of bed, get dressed and take your dog for a walk. This may seem normal to do and it is. But if you suffer with depression, then you know how difficult it can be just to get out of bed, to get washed, eat breakfast and get dressed.
Owning a dog means you take care of that dog, you protect it, and love it as though it was your child. This means your dog is your priority, you have to get up and get dressed, walk your dog, feed your dog.
By doing this it helps to reduce any feeling of loneliness, improve your emotional and social fears and it helps of course to reduce anxiety and depression.
When it comes to our body our dogs once again can help us. By taking your dog for a walk, you are getting some exercise, which means endorphins kick into play, this makes us feel great. By taking your dog for a walk, you are boosting your immune system and increasing your life by taking care of it, but it also means you are increasing your dogs life, by exercising it!
Every day I take my dogs for two walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This means I am getting out and about twice a day, doing some exercise, moving my body this then helps to increase the oxytocin levels and it lowers your cortisol which helps to reduce stress.
Finally it’s really important to take care of our heart. Now our body works around the clock with the help to our heart, if that stops, then we stop.
So by taking your dog for a walk, by spending time with your dog, you are lowering your blood pressure, as well as your cholesterol. You reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Whilst yes this is about you, but by getting up and doing all these things for yourself, protecting and taking care of your heart, mind and body. You are also doing this for your dog. This means that you are extending your life and your dogs life!
My dogs are incredibly important to me, and I tell them every day that I love them.
It doesn’t just have to be about walking your dog, dogs can be trained to be able to identify when a patient has a seizure, a dog can detect breast and lung cancer. Also however you can get out and about and train your dog, whether that’s agility, fly ball, and obedience. Owning a dog doesn’t just mean it goes on walks.
My dog Rolo and my little Otto who is training, adore agility. Rolo especially, he always has the biggest smile on his face. I now go across the country competing in agility shows with both of my dogs, it gives them so much enjoyment, and it makes my happy to see them happy. Which helps me lower my anxiety and it gets those amazing endorphins going!
I would love to hear from you all, tell me one thing that your dog has done that has had a positive impact on you and your life, let me know in the comments below.
This post was a collaboration and was inspired by PuppySpot. Check out their website for more information about the PuppySpot process!
PuppySpot is based in America. PuppySpot is a community of dog lovers, with a mission to make lives better by placing healthy puppies into happy homes.
Puppies are screened and vetted with responsible breeders. PuppySpot has a personalised approach that caters to those who are in search of a new furry friend
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