How Dogs Can Help Combat Loneliness

In recent years, there has been a multitude of research into the benefits of pets on mental health, with findings almost unanimously suggesting a positive correlation between people with pets and improved mental health. This is largely due to the physiological effects that interaction with animals has on humans, stimulating the release of Oxytocin, which helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure, ultimately relieving stress.

Consequently, animals are being deployed in a variety of ways to help us humans in various aspects of everyday life. From working in hospitals to help patients with physical and psychological recovery, to giving dementia sufferers a sense of routine and helping children to develop, the scope of dependency between pets and their owners is shifting to a more even keel.

Elderly people often rely on pets to help combat loneliness, with the most popular choice of companion usually dogs – and they’re known as ‘man’s best friend’ for a reason. Whilst all pets provide a sense of companionship, dogs come with a list of demands that help keep their owners active and encourage them to get out of the house more. For this reason, they can help play an integral role in helping to combat incidents of loneliness in people of all ages.

 

Here are some of the ways that dogs can help their owners to overcome loneliness and improve their social life.

Sense Of Purpose

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Loneliness is a complex issue that many people face which, when encountered, becomes difficult to escape.

People will often isolate themselves for one reason or another, and then find it impossible to reintegrate with their friends and family again. It’s a bit of a catch 22, really, and often leads to people lacking the motivation or drive to even get up in the morning.

Owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibility, often beginning early in the morning and ending late at night. And, as all dog owners know, they won’t let you rest until you’ve tended to their needs.

In this way, the responsibility and sense of purpose that dogs come with can play an integral role of pulling people out of a rut and forcing them to face the day – with just a little encouragement…

Emotional Bond

Loneliness comes with a sense of isolation that is often hard to beat, with sufferers seeking a confidante to form a special bond with.

Dogs have been proven to empathise with their owners, meaning that they’re one of the few pets with which owners often report feeling a genuine connection. In fact, their ability to listen in a judgement-free environment has been utilised by a group in Scotland, who are employing dogs to help children learn to read.

As we said before, the dependency between pets and owners can be more even than you may think, with dogs particularly supportive and in tune with their owner’s needs.

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Meeting New People

Dogs need lots of walking, which is a great way of forcing people out of their houses to meet new people!

In many cases, nerves can prevent people from taking themselves out of the house and trying to make new friends. Dogs, however, provide an instant point of conversation, which can be a great starting point for forming new relationships.

Take a new dog to the local park and people will flock around – and, it’s likely to be the same people every time, so bonds can develop over time.

Perfect Companion

We have to say, dogs are great all-rounders, not just for people suffering from loneliness.

There are times in all of our lives when we just can’t be bothered and want to lock ourselves away, but, more often than not, that’s not the answer. Having a dog, you have to get up, get dressed and get on with the day – and it’s the best way! Only when you get yourself going again will you start to feel better.

All in all, we wouldn’t be without them!

Summer holiday booked but still looking for pet care? Perhaps Tailster can help! We’ve a range of fully vetted carers across the UK, available to tend to your pet care needs as and when you require. For more information on our full service, click here.

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