They say that a dog is a man or woman’s best friend. And this is especially true when looking at the benefits of pets for our mental health. We can all admit to having some kind of mental crisis during our lives. Whether it is anxiety, stress, depression, or loneliness, we can all relate. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more difficult to be up-beat and has made many of us feel isolated and lonely. But luckily for most of us this seems to be coming to an end as the world begins to open up. But even so pets can help us not only with direct interaction with them but in creating opportunities for us to interact with each other. Here are just some of the benefits a dog can bring to our mental health: Mindfulness Having a dog often helps you be in the moment and practice mindfulness. This is invaluable when trying to improve your mental health. Petting or walking your dog can make you ‘get out of your head and into the present’. Stress relief Many studies have been undertaken with results showing that owning a dog can reduce stress. Maybe this is why employers are advocating dogs in the workplace. There are many times that dogs are used as part of therapy to assist in relieving stress and promoting happiness and less negativity in our emotions. Your hormones linked to stress are said to decrease when interacting with your pet. This interaction can also increase dopamine and serotonin, both brain chemicals that can make us feel good. It has such good results that animal-assisted therapy is often used as part of mental health treatment. Getting outdoors Your dog needs exercise and even if we don’t like to admit it so do we. Exercise is a very good way to improve every aspect of our physical and mental health, lowering blood pressure and boosting ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters in our brain. And of course, just being outside can help us reduce stress and boost our mood – no matter the environment we live in. Socialising and giving purpose Having a dog is a great way to get out and meet new people. Whether it’s on a walk, in a pet behavioural class or on a puppy play date it’s great to encourage socialisation and dispel feelings of loneliness and isolation. And in the end, having a dog gives you purpose – old or young – you are it’s person as much as they are your pet. But most of All – Enjoy every day with your dog, they are a wagging tail joyful part of your life. Why not celebrate your dog with some lovely treats from our treat range here.