Can Dogs Help With Depression? – Mental Health Insider

I’m pretty sure a lot of you guys know this already, but if you don’t, then let me give you a little insider.

Dealing with a mental illness can be so time-consuming and draining. Sometimes we often think that we need some companionship before we lose our mind, and the first thing that lights up in our head it’s ” let’s get a dog.”

Can dogs help with depression or with any other mental disorder?

can dogs help with a mental illness?

The Benefits

Dogs are extraordinary at the task of motivating owners to get up and get out of the house more often. This may be helpful for those suffering from a mental illness. Dogs can furthermore have calming effects on their owners. Something as simple as sitting next to them, petting them or playing with them can provide their owners a chance to relax and calm their minds. Taking care of a dog can also give you motivation and it can help you feel like you’re important or needed, because we know that sometimes having a mental illness can be unhealthy for the way we think about ourselves. Dogs can be such a wonderful and positive companionship in our everyday lives, they can even encourage us to take better care of ourselves and be more conscious of our surroundings.

Imagine getting home from a busy day at work, opening your front door and the first thing you see it’s your dog wobbling their tale and just being happy because you’re home. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

They can completely change your day and make it seem more valuable. Dogs tend to be pure joy, and I can assure you, that they will make you smile no matter what. Of course, there are going to be days when you’re not going to be up for any playing, but you know, dogs can sense when you’re feeling down. They will most likely just provide you with their company, so you don’t feel so lonely.

The Responsibility of Owning a Dog

So far, we have made it clear that dogs can help with depression, and any other mental health related disorder, but please keep in mind that they’re also living creatures who need to be taken care of.

You can’t opt to have a dog and not feed, bathe or take it to the veterinarian. That’s not how owning a dog is about.

Dogs can also be very active and they may want to go outside all the time, play or they might even jump into your bed when you don’t want to. As I said, they’re wonderful companions, but we can’t forget that they also have needs that have to be cared for.

how can dogs help with depression

Owning a dog means that you must require:

• Time

• Money

• Committed

I don’t want to come on here, and tell you that owning a dog is an easy task, because it certainly isn’t. Are they a good option for keeping yourself distracted, give them love and just enjoy their company? Of course. Could you adopt a dog even if you don’t think you’ll be able to take care of it? That’s not a good idea.


Mental illness can have you in a very vulnerable situation and having a pet could trigger your mental health as well. We grow so attached to our dogs (pets in general) that when they’re no longer with us our depression may worsen.

It’s okay to grow close to them and love them as much as you can, but always think of yourself as well.

Getting attached while dealing with an illness can be crucial, as I said, so you need to be open-minded when separation comes along. Of course, it’s never easy, once they enter your home they become family.

Please keep in mind, an attachment can also be a mental illness. Especially if you grew up in an emotionless household.

Some Of The Most Reliable Dog Breeds

You’re probably wondering “okay but which are the best dog breeds for emotional support or just support in general?”

I am going to be talking about the five dog breeds that are highly recommended for mental health support.

• Chihuahua

best dog breeds for emotional support

Don’t let their size fool you. Chihuahuas love to be around people. They can follow you around everywhere and once you sit down they will do the same thing, beside or next to you. Not to mention that because they’re so small you can take them with you anywhere.

• Labrador Retriever