How Dogs Help with Anxiety

The mental health community has known the power of a pet for decades. They provide love,
comfort and support. People have an inborn need for love, companionship and someone with
which to share their fears and anxieties. Feeling cared for aids in building confidence and
resilience. Dogs provide all of that and more.
People experience anxiety for any number of reasons. They may have experienced or witnessed
a traumatic event. An individual may have been emotionally, mentally or physically abused. The
anxiety may be the result of a drug problem or current circumstances. Each person experiences
anxiety unique to themselves.
Relieves Stress
Multiple research and studies have amply demonstrated that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and
depression. Simply playing with a dog increases dopamine and oxytocin levels in the brain,
making people feel happier, more relaxed, and less stressed. Work and the outside world can
be a stressful place. Knowing they have their dog’s unconditional love waiting at home helps
people function throughout the day.
Manage Anxiety
Everyone needs companionship and support. Dogs fill that need. People with a dog are
perceived as mor social and likeable. That can translate into greater productivity at work and
better social connections.
Sense of Purpose
Knowing that they have a friend that depends on them gives people a reason to get up in the
morning, see outside themselves, and act in the best interest of their canine friend.
Eases Loneliness
People with anxiety often feel lonely. A dog provides a friendly face to come home to at the end
of a day. They’re always happy to see their human family member no matter what has occurred
during the day. Playing, petting, grooming and talking to a dog fulfills a need to nurture and
creates a unique bond.


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