It’s World Mental Health Day, and did you know, caring for a dog can help our mental health in many ways, including:
- Increasing your physical activity. Dog owners are likely to take their pets for a walk or run every day. This can be a fun way to fit exercise into your routine.
- Providing companionship. Dogs can give you a sense of security and someone to share the day with. Caring for them can help you feel wanted and needed. This can be especially valuable for older people or those who live alone.
- Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a pet can help to ease your anxiety boosting self-confidence. Dogs can be great listeners, offer unconditional love and won’t criticise you. This can help your self-confidence, especially if you feel isolated or misunderstood.
- Helping you meet new people. Dog owners often stop and chat with each other on walks, in the vets surgery or anywhere else dogs can meet.
- Adding structure to your day. Feeding, exercising and caring for a dog can help you keep to a daily routine, which can help you feel more grounded and focused. It can give your day purpose and a sense of achievement.
Pictured are Mondoe and Isaac, Forever Hounds Trust adoptees who have a wonderful bond with their families.
But remember, it’s not just all about you; your dog needs to have good mental health too and that is something we are passionate about here at Forever Hounds Trust. Having a dog is a serious commitment, you’ll need to have the time, money and energy for a dog, as well as a suitable home environment. Otherwise, it could have the opposite effect – both yours, and the dogs mental health could suffer.
To help prevent that happening, we assess every dog to ensure we understand their needs and requirements, just like people, every single dog is different. We also seek lots of information from any potential adopter about their personal situation and home environment to ensure that the person will be able to look after a dog long term. If the dogs needs and potential adopters situation align, then it’s a match, and the process of meeting the dog through to adoption commences. Once adopted, we are also on hand to provide support for any behavioural issues that might crop up (dogs, not humans!), thus ensuring everyone’s mental health is considered and protected through-out the whole process, and life of the dog.
Would you like to introduce a dog into your life to help your mental health, but aren’t sure if the long term commitment of adopting is right for you? Have you considered fostering? Fostering is a great way to improve both your mental health, and that of the dog in need who may be struggling in kennels. If this is you, then please email email@example.com to find out more!