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Does your Pet help with your Depression?

Yes, having a pet and especially a dog can help with depression according to this article.  They give us comfort, companionship and affection.  They keep us on a regular schedule and give us purpose. They can create a sense of calm in that petting and stroking a dog is soothing to both them and us. They can improve our physical activity. They can improve our social time.

All of these things are good for everyone, but particularly someone suffering depression.

Do you have a pet?  Do you know anyone with a service animal?  Do you think it helps with your mood?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Yes!!! I can say with 100% certainty that getting my little dog was the best thing I've ever done for myself. There's a little bit of a drawback in the sense that I miss her and worry when I travel, and don't know how I'll cope when she dies. But she has kept me relatively centered for ten years. I never had any idea an animal could do that.
Freedance, I'm with you!  My dog is often m sole source of solace.  Like my non judging, always loves me, there to comfort me best friend.  :>)) I agree too that I have worry when I travel or what if thoughts like 'what if something happened to me?  what would happen to her?"  That part is probably natural to loving something like we do our pets.  

Lots of people are making dogs service animals now.  I like the concept. But then once that happens, they aren't pets anymore.  They perform a function strictly for you and can't really just be dogs anymore.  So, I'm not really too in to that.  What do you think about that?  But they WOULD get to go everywhere with us.  :>)
I guess this depends on what you think a "dog" is.  In the wild, dogs aren't anything like the domestic variety, which were originally thought to have traded their freedom for easy access to food and in return had to be useful to stick around -- they guarded the camp by barking as an alert, and were later taught to herd and all the other things dogs do.  The current concept of a dog as a member of the family is quite recent in our mutual histories, as is the concept of a "pet."  What is true is we have no idea what our pets actually think of us or how they think or what they think about.  They use us and we use them is about all we know for sure and the rest is anthropomorphism.  So I'm guessing a companion dog bonds as much with their person as any other dog bonds with a human being.  Dogs like having a purpose just like people do, I'm guessing, probably more interesting than lying on the couch all day!  Peace, dog lovers!
Just an interesting aside.  Recently I read about a study of domesticated dogs that looked into evolutionary change in their faces.  The researcher concluded that the faces of domesticated dogs have evolved to develop that sad cute you have to hug me look they have.  This isn't how wolves look, it appears to be something domesticated dogs evolved to get from us what they want.  
What about that idea that dogs start to look like their owners, and owners start to look like their dogs.  lol  I think they say the same thing about spouses over time.  My dog is pretty cute so I'm okay with it.

I'm not too deep about my love of my dog.  It's a simple thing really and that is one of the things I adore about the situation.  With so much of life's complexities, the simple pleasure of feeling happy when you cuddle up with your pooch is quite welcome.  

I'm going to consider what jobs I can give my dog now.  I 'think' she is quite content to do a lot of laying around.  But do know she likes to guard the fortress from any and all random leaves blowing by, squirrels taunting her or heaven forbid, an Amazon delivery person ringing the bell.  I've noticed though when frightened, she gets between my feet and sits down. I think at that moment, I'm guarding her but I don't know. Because you are right.  She can't talk and tell me so I don't ever 'really' know what she is thinking.  Now, I'm guessing when I make a sandwhich and have cheese and turkey on the counter and she is losing her mind wagging her tail and looking up at me that she is thinking "give me some of that GUD stuff".  But who knows? She may be thinking "you fat.  you don't need another sandwich".

But the idea of a job for her . . .   I would love to train her as a mole hunter.  She's worthless in this department and lord knows I've tried to get her to do it.  Cause I HATE moles and have them ruining my yard.  If she got good at it, I'd have a mole free yard and then start a business with her (splitting the profit, of course) in which we rent her out as "Sweetie, the mole hunter". To date, she is very disappointing in this department.  But I still love her. Like, really love her.  

Anyway, as you can see, I'm entertained by my dog and she does help lift my mood.  

I wonder if a study could be done with pictures of dogs and puppies where they track brain patterns.  Hmmmmmm, I'll bring this up to my son.  Maaybe we can make a science fair project out of that leading to research that could change the world!!  Dog lovers unite!
Can't say our dog before she died (sigh) started to look like us or us like her.  She was way better looking -- as a dog and as a human -- than my wife and I.  She was half German Shepherd, and half something else (her papers at the rescue shelter said half Pekingese, but I don't think so and really don't like to picture that, if you get my drift).  As for squirrels, my wife and I have concluded -- okay, I was the fiction writer and she's the nonfiction writer, so it was my idea -- that there has been a war going on between squirrels and dogs for untold centuries, and of course, the squirrels have clearly won.  They are obviously taunting dogs, throw acorns at them, and then scurry up a tree while our dogs try for endless amounts of time to figure out where they went.  As for moles, domesticated dogs only kill for pleasure and instinct, as they are never hungry, and mostly they are just not as motivated or as brutal as cats.  To hunt a mole would take a lot of patience, as they'd have to wait outside the hole for them to come out.  So I wouldn't count on it.  As for the sandwich, I think we can safely say the dog wants the sandwich.  Or anything else edible, for that matter.  Dog lover's unite, indeed, I'm in!
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