Effect Of Dog Ownership On Your Mental Health

Dogs are one of the most loyal creatures on the plant, and are considered a man’s best friend, but do they improve the overall quality of life of an individual?

Debuking Myths

While it is a popular belief, according to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, having a stronger relationship with your dog can actually be related to an increase in anxiety and depression.

Owning a dog holds significant value for numerous individuals, fostering strong bonds due to their loyalty as companions. While many have long believed that having a dog positively impacts mental health, recent research contradicts this notion.

Research focusing on normal pet ownership has had blended and complicated results. The study sought to explain the connection between having a dog and individuals’ psychological wellbeing.

“The general idea of the society is that they are overwhelmingly good for our mental health,” Carri Westgarth, the study author and senior lecturer in Human-Animal Interaction.

“As someone who has owned several dogs. It added stress and anxiety more than the happiness I thought it will add in my life. I have also spent a great time helping owners of dogs with behavioral issues. While the owners also found owning a dog very difficult.”

Carri and her colleagues complied data from more than 1,690 dog owners to serve as their sample. Participants were included online via social media. Participants filled a question sheet that contained questions about their dogs, the relationship, their physical and mental health, wellbeing, and demographics.

The Results

The research showed that the people who had stronger bonds with their dog had some positive outcomes, including emotional support and companionship. But there were also some negative outcomes including high-rates of worse depression and higher levels of anxiety too.

“We don’t really know whether owning dogs causes owners to have depression and anxiety. Or  having great levels of depression and anxiety causes owners to own a dog,” Westgarth added. Furthermore he said that the data does suggest that both may be occurring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *