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Do Pets Help With Depression

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What About A Rescue Dog

Pets & Depression Treatment

Its also worth noting that you by no means need to get a purebred dog make sure to consider adopting a rescue dog from a shelter.

These dogs tend to have boundless love to give, and are often especially appreciative of finding their new forever home. Mixed breed dogs, often found in shelters, can have the best of multiple breeds, so make sure to consider them for your canine companion!

Choosing The Right Dog For Your Personality

While its been well demonstrated that dogs can help reduce depression, its important to consider which canine characteristics and traits will best benefit your individual needs.

For some people with depression, a happy-go-lucky goofball like a retriever is ideal. Active dogs like retrievers can help owners get out and be active, boosting endorphins and improving mood.

However, others may find that type of dog to be exhausting and frustrating, making things worse. These people may do better with a cuddly Havanese.

Talk to your mental health professional and your potential dogs breeder to better understand which types of dogs will suit your emotional and physical needs.

When Youre Depressed You Cant Just Will Yourself To Snap Out Of It But This Guide To Depression Help Can Put You On The Road To Recovery

Coronavirus update

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many of us are dealing with social distancing, isolation, and lockdowns that make it even harder to cope with symptoms of depression. Whatever your circumstances, though, there are ways to overcome feelings of sadness and despair, improve your mood, and regain a sense of hope. In addition to the tips in this article, you can also find help for depression in our Coronavirus Mental Health Toolkit.

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Dogs Offer Unconditional Love And Acceptance

As far as we know, dogs are without opinions, critiques, and verdicts. Even if you smell like their poop, they will snuggle up next to you. In a Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin, Karen Swartz, MD, mentions a recent study that found that nursing home residents in St. Louis felt less lonely when they spent quiet time with a dog alone than when they visited with a dog and other residents.

The study enrolled 37 nursing home residents who scored high on a loneliness scale and were interested in receiving weekly half-hour visits from dogs. Half of the residents had quiet time alone with the pooches. The other half shared the dog with other nursing home residents. Both groups said they felt less lonely after the visit, but the decrease in loneliness was much more significant among the residents who had the dogs all to themselves. In other words, at times we prefer our four-legged friends to our mouthy pals because we can divulge our innermost thoughts and not be judged.

Exotic Therapy Animals For Depression

Do Pets Help Anxiety and Depression from DID?

Of course, you dont have to stick with rodents or even mammals. The only real requirement is that you choose a pet with a baseline level of intelligence. It must actually benefit from human interaction.

Animals like spiders or snakes, for example, arent great pets for depression. They can find over-handling stressful, and they have trouble bonding with humans. Other reptiles, however, can be great fits.

Bearded Dragons

A bearded dragon can create a very strong bond with its owner. Once properly bonded, it may even start sleeping on you or cuddling with you. However, as a slightly exotic pet, bearded dragons are not for everyone.

  • You may find it difficult to source one from a pet store.
  • With a life-span of 10 to 15 years, on average, bearded dragons are long-term companions.
  • If you get a bearded dragon it will need a heat/UV lamp to stay healthy.

It will also need a varied diet which includes:

  • Insects
  • Vegetables
  • Supplements

Once you get into the routine of what it needs, you will find that a bearded dragon is a fairly low-maintenance pet. Its pleased with sunbathing, hunting crickets, and lounging around its enclosure. If you have severe depression, youll find your bearded dragon happy to entertain itself for several days.

As it grows, however, it may need a larger vivarium. Those who are left isolated for a week or more will need a companion. Of course, food and water should always be provided. Despite having a slower metabolism, it still needs to eat regularly.


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Dogs Have A Magic Effect: How Pets Can Improve Our Mental Health

Canine companions trigger similar neural pathways to the parent-baby bond, and reduce loneliness and depression. Now new pet therapy trials are reporting dramatic effects

What is it about animals? As the bad news about the coronavirus continues, send me dogs and cats has become a regular cry on social media, an easy-to-grasp shorthand for I feel terrible, cheer me up. The response is always the same: a torrent of pictures of animals doing daft things but somehow it has a magical, calming effect.

The therapeutic value of our relationship with our pets, particularly dogs, is increasingly recognised by researchers. Cats can be wonderful too but dogs have been domesticated by humans for much longer, and, as even the most devoted cat lover will admit, dogs are far easier to train for companionship. Most cats, as we know, are admirable for entirely different reasons. a mental health campaigner and all-round animal lover, says that dogs teach us a whole range of lessons. Dogs love us unconditionally. Theyre the ultimate in equal opportunities entirely indifferent to race, gender, star sign, CV, clothes size or ability to throw cool moves on the dance floor. The simplicity and depth of this love is a continuous joy, along with the health benefits of daily walks and the social delights of chats with other dog walkers. They teach kids to be responsible, altruistic and compassionate and, valuably but sadly, how to cope when someone you love dies.

Treating Depression With Animals

The Human-Animal Bond Research Institute studies the effect pets have on human conditions, both mental and physical. HABRIs research indicates that pets reduce feelings of loneliness, encourage a sense of purpose, and increase self-confidence. Pets can help treat mental health concerns, making them an excellent option for people with depression.

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This affectionate, gentle dog was a top pick for royalty back in the day. Their easygoing nature, small size, and medium energy level make them similar to the Havanese. However, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to have less hair and are slightly more active.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are laid back with children and other dogs. They are happy to snuggle on the couch or go for long walks in the park.

How Can A Service Dog Help My Depression

Do Dogs Get Depressed?

The benefits of a service dog for your depression are many. They can help during a crisis, deal with emotional overload, or help with treatment. It is imperative they know a specific helping task so they can obtain their certification. They can:

  • Remind you to take your meds
  • Get your cell or house phone to you if you are in distress
  • Work to help you through medication side effects
  • Be present for support when calming is needed
  • Watch for emotional overload and prevent it
  • Remove you from uncomfortable situations
  • Give you a reason for going out and doing things care for the dog becomes a positive focus

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Do Pets Help Reduce Anxiety And Depression

An alarmingly high number of people both in the U.S. and abroad suffer from anxiety and depression. While dealing with these can be dreadfully difficult, did you know pets can help? Study after study has shown that pets help improve both mental and physical health in a plethora of ways.

If you are experiencing anxiety, depression or stress, or you know someone who is, pet ownership may be a viable, helpful option for you. Well discuss the benefits of owning a furry friend below.

What To Do If You Dont Qualify

If you dont qualify for a service dog for depression, you can still consider an emotional support animal. These animals provide comfort and companionship, but theyre not eligible for the same protection as service dogs in public places.

Emotional support animals are allowed in all housing units and able to fly for free. Emotional support animals are usually dogs or cats, but can include other animals.

There are a number of other treatment options for depression available as well. A combination of medication and therapy is often successful in managing depression. There are also lifestyle changes and alternative treatments that can help you cope with depression.

Treatment options for depression include:

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Dealing With The Winter Blues

For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder . SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love. No matter how hopeless you feel, though, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your mood stable throughout the year.

Research Finds Serotonin Increase After Three Month Depression Treatment Open Access Government

How a Dog Helped Me Manage My Anxiety and Depression ...

Research finds serotonin increase after three month depression treatment.

Posted: Mon, 10 May 2021 07:00:00 GMT

As a result of this, lots of healthcare providers and also moms and dads like to treat kids without making use of antidepressant medications. This randomized medical test found that psilocybin-assisted therapy was efficacious in generating big, fast, as well as continual antidepressant results in patients with significant depressive problem. This detailed technique do pets help people depression aided conquer several of the restrictions of previous researches. Of all the pediatric mental health worries, DMDD has the highest possible prices of comorbidity with other mental health and wellness diagnoses. Major depression can co-occur with chemical abuse issues, obsessive-compulsive habits, and panic attacks.

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International Dog Day: 5 Ways Dogs Can Help Us Deal With Depression And Anxiety

  • People suffering from mental health issues like depression and anxiety could benefit from the company of a dog.

For many pet parents, their furry companions are their ultimate source of joy. They can go on and on about the time spent with them and the happiness they add to their lives. Especially in the times of coronavirus pandemic, when everything is still and lacklustre, presence of a dog in the house can improve mood of those around. Numerous studies have found how a dog can sense the mood and emotions of its owner, and that itself is a comforting feeling.

People suffering from mental health issues like depression and anxiety could benefit from the company of a dog as their unconditional love and touch could bring down stress levels and release happy hormones.

Health experts across the world have acknowledged the positive effects of a pet in a person’s life.

Emotional support animals or psychiatric assistance dogs are widely accepted as complementary therapy along with traditional counselling and treatment for patients with mental disorders. Trained by experts, these animals can provide the necessary support and safety to their handlers, says Dr. Neha Patel, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital.

Here are five benefits of a dog for patients suffering from mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.

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Pets Increase Your Social Interaction

Pets create opportunities for better social interaction, especially if you join an animal club or attend pet shows. Going to pet-friendly events, beaches or parks can also help increase your social network. You could make new friends just by taking your dog for a walk or waiting at the vet, due to the shared interest in your pets.

If you have a fear of social situations, or social phobia, a pet can help with slowly introducing you to other people who also have pets and enhance your mental health.

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Why Is Dealing With Depression So Difficult

Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to take the steps that will help you to feel better. Sometimes, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like exercising or spending time with friends, can seem exhausting or impossible to put into action.

Its the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There is a big difference, however, between something thats difficult and something thats impossible. While recovering from depression isnt quick or easy, you do have more control than you realizeeven if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example.

Taking the first step is always the hardest. But going for a walk or getting up and dancing to your favorite music, for example, is something you can do right now. And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hourslong enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. By taking the following small but positive steps day by day, youll soon lift the heavy fog of depression and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.

Pets Support Social Connection

6 ways pets help with symptoms of depression

Another result of pets and mental health, for teens and adults, is that pets support social connection. They relieve social anxiety because they provide a common topic to talk about. Hence, pets counteract social isolation.

For example, walking a dog often leads to conversations with other dog owners. As a result, dog owners tend to be more socially connected and less isolated.

Therefore, their mental health improves. Thats because people who have more social relationships and friendships tend to be mentally healthier. The benefits of social connection include

  • Better self-esteem
  • Lower rates of anxiety and depression
  • Happier, more optimistic outlook
  • More empathy and feelings of trust toward others.

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Pets And Mental Health: Lowering Stress

Moreover, interacting with a friendly dog reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. And it increases the release of oxytocinanother chemical in the body that reduces stress naturally. Thats why animal-assisted therapy is so powerful.

Furthermore, the sensory act of stroking a pet lowers blood pressure. Therefore, it reduces stress. Consequently, studies have shown that dogs can help calm hyperactive or aggressive children.

In one study, a group of stressed-out adults was told to pet a rabbit, a turtle, or a toy. Touching the toy didnt have any effects. However, stroking the rabbit or turtle relieved anxiety. In addition, even people who didnt particularly like animals experienced the benefits.

Dogs Contribute To A Healthy Lifestyle

Having a dog also requires you to partake in activities that contribute to a healthy lifestyle and help diminish the effects of depression.

For example, every dog is going to need exercise. Even if you have a breed that doesnt require long walks, they are going to need to be taken outside multiple times a day to use the potty.

Simply getting outside and walking around in a green area has been shown to improve physical and mental health outcomes. Going out can also increase vitamin D intake, which can also improve mental health. Vitamin D deficiency can mirror depression in many ways and mental health professions think it plays a critical role in many depression symptoms.

There is also some degree of responsibility that comes with owning a dog. You have to get up to feed them, take them outside, and get them some exercise. Even if you did the bare minimum on any given day and only took care of your dog, you would get more done that if you owned no pets. Exercise and dogs are often correlated with being more productive for these reasons.

Plus, responsibility and productivity are linked with higher self-esteem. Those who get stuff done tend to think higher of themselves. This can help undercut many of the negative thoughts that are common with depression and other mental health problems.

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Breeds: A Good Starting Point

Dog breeds have been bred for specific purposes over the years, with different breeds displaying different personality traits, behaviors, and care requirements.

Were detailing the recommended dog breeds or breed groups that often work well as emotional support animals and are commonly considered best dogs for depression.

Once you have identified a breed or breed group that interest you, start speaking to owners, breeders, or rescue staff that work with these dogs. These animal care professionals and owners can help you identify individual dogs that will work best for your lifestyle.

Big differences exist between working versus show lines in many breeds, so talking to your breeder or shelter staff is just as important as doing early research on various breeds.

While dog breeds have been developed of the years for specific purposes, each dog is an individual, so make sure to get to know your potential canine partner before bringing them home permanently.

Psychology Of Having A Pet

Do Pet Fish Help With Depression?

Of course, long-stay psychiatric patients are not representative of most people who have depression. Helen Brooks published research in BMC Psychiatrywhich showed that pets, small or large, are very good for people with depression.

In fact, she found the emotional support and connection offered by a pet was the most important element. This was especially true for those who have difficult relationships with those closest to them. Pets in the home can help people with depression:

  • Ward off loneliness
  • Enjoy emotional support
  • Manage their own symptoms more effectively

As a result, Brooks argued that pets should be seen as a major part of a persons support network. This may seem strange, but evidence suggests that pet ownership offers the following benefits:

  • Lower stress levels
  • Reduced depressive symptoms

Emotional Support

Pets offer unconditional love. This affection, untroubled by day-to-day concerns, is comforting for many people. Owners can also speak freely to a pet without fear of judgment. This is paired with the sensation that someone or something is still listening. That can be therapeutic.

Outside Motivation

Having a pet ensures that you have something outside yourself to think about. You are responsible for:

  • Feeding it
  • Cleaning its cage
  • Seeing to its emotional and social needs

When a depressive episode strikes, it can be hard to get out of bed. Having a small pet to look after motivates many people.

Physical Comfort

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