There are therapy and assistance dogs specially trained for this purpose, but ANY beloved pet can provide the unconditional love and support that helps healing.
Studies have shown that pets do wonders for mental and physical health. If you already own a pet, you may have already felt the power of how their bond with you and unconditional love can help. If don’t already own a pet, it’s possible that a pet might help! It’s important to note that a pet is always a big responsibility so take time to ask advice and consider if your current lifestyle and schedule can support a pet. This is particularly important in early recovery when you want to keep added stress to a minimum.
If you’d love to interact more with animals but can’t currently get one for yourself, volunteering at a local animal shelter or offering to walk a friend’s dog, are other great alternatives.
Here are just some of the ways dogs help to support your mental and physical health:
Unconditional Love and Support: Dogs love you unconditionally. They are always happy to see you and they never judge. They can typically sense when you’re feeling low, anxious, and/or depressed, and often will give you extra attention and love just when you need it most.