Walking the Dog Has Psychological Benefits For Owners
It’s a well-known fact that dogs are great stress relievers for people. Their companionship and loyalty help people to feel good. Scientific research has long indicated that petting a dog can lower your heart rate and instigate a calming effect. This is why so many dogs are employed in support roles – from dogs that visit elderly people in care homes, to dogs that assist in helping children cope with the effects of autism. Simply walking your dog, however, can have vert positive psychological benefits – Holidays4Dogs finds out more.
Motivation to exercise
Many people who own dogs are much more motivated to take exercise because they feel this is important for the family dog. By focusing on the dog’s need to get out and about and exercise, people are more likely to make the effort to walk regularly – come rain, or shine. Daily exercise for dogs is important, for sure, but walking with a four-legged pal has some surprising psychological benefits for people.
“A dog is one of the remaining reasons
why some people can be persuaded to go for a walk”
Orlando Aloysius Battista.
This is particularly the case for people who suffer from depression, or other mental health problems. Indeed, research has shown, the companionship of a dog can improve people’s motivation to engage with the world and other people.
Increased physical activity
Dog ownership is associated with a significant increase in physical activity, compared to non-dog owners. Scientists have also found a link between owning a dog and a much healthier circularity system.
Being healthier and taking more exercise, means dog owners may be seen as having a decreased risk of stroke, or heart disease. This is particularly notable amongst the older generation.
Physical activity releases feel-good hormones too. This process can relieve stress and anxiety, as well as create positive thoughts and boost energy levels.
The benefits of the great outdoors
Studies have shown that when a person engages with the natural world, they gain a sense of well-being.
This comes as a result of noticing the beauty of the surroundings and features in the environment – be it urban, or countryside.
The feeling of not being alone
Most dogs are enthusiastic walking companions and this creates the sense in the dog walker, of not being alone. Having a companion to enjoy the great outdoors, makes walking much more enjoyable and satisfying.
Dogs can help boost a person’s confidence and self-esteem by being a happy and non-judgemental companion. For people who feel isolated and, perhaps even misunderstood, dogs can help boost a person’s self confidence.
Meeting new people
There are other activities where dogs can help forge new relationships between people – from meeting in the local pub to attending a dog training class, or dog show.
Research has shown that dog owners tend to chat more with other people than non-dog walkers. Dogs are the perfect excuse for striking up a conversation with a stranger.
In fact, for people with social anxieties, owning a dog can make it easier to make new friends and expand social circles – even find new interests.
Dog walking seems to have the power to work wonders for a person’s mental health. Even if people walk their dogs primarily for the dog’s benefit, many find an upsurge in their happiness and well-being.
Even if you don’t currently own a dog, you can still benefit from caring and walking other people’s dogs, by becoming a carer for Holidays4Dogs. There’s no outlay, we take care of everything you need.
As long as you have experience, do not work full time and have a secure, dog friendly garden – you could be walking your way to well-being, making new friends within our Holidays4Dogs community and earning some pennies too! (If you have your own dog already – that’s fine too – as long as he, or she, is friendly and sociable).
Interested in becoming a carer for Holidays4Dogs? Follow the link to find out more.