Dogs are great mood-enhancers! If you suffer from depression, here are a few ways your dog can help you manage your condition effectively.
Depression is a serious emotional disorder that can have long-term degenerative effects if not properly managed. If you’re a dog owner who’s been diagnosed as having clinical depression, it’s important, first, to seek treatment from a medical professional, but you can also elevate your spirits by engaging with your dog in the following ways.
- Get lots of exercise. Exercise is excellent for regulating mood. It reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol, and encourages production of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates feelings of well-being). It also helps you develop a healthier sleep pattern. Take your dog for a long walk, punctuated with interval running. This not only helps you stay fit, but also your furry companion!
- Enroll your dog in agility training. Agility training is great exercise for you and your dog, and it also gives you a task and feeling of accomplishment when your dog makes a training achievement. It’s also wonderful for dog and human socialization.
- Teach your dog tricks. You don’t have to enroll in a formal class to teach your dog something new – you can do that in your living room or your backyard. This helps you bond with your pooch and keep their mind engaged.
If you struggle with depression and do not currently own a dog, you might want to volunteer at a pet shelter to get to know the challenges and rewards of animal care. You can then possibly work your way up to adopting a dog by providing dog walking or pet-sitting services, before making the full pet ownership commitment.
A healthy dog is a happy dog, so if you want to keep both of you in high spirits, give them the right nutritional support that allows them to stay fit and energized. Some excellent pet food products for dogs of all ages, weights, breeds, and health conditions are Castor & Pollux, Nutrish, and Zignature dog food. DCM, kidney disease, obesity, and diabetes can all be managed successfully with the right diet.
To read more on topics like this, check out the health category.