There are many studies out there explaining the emotional benefits of owning a dog, and how good for your mental health dogs can be. I have seen how my pup helps my mental health every day, and especially when I am feeling down.
Science has proven that pups also pick up on their human's mood, and it influences theirs. I know my dog often picks up changes in my mood, especially when I'm not feeling my best.
When I’m feeling at my worst, he'll be calm and comforting.
Whenever I get sick, I notice a distinct change in my dog's temperament. It's not like my dog gets sick as well or acts like it, but he's more subdued, less pushy to go for a walk and is happy just to chill.
He's also more clingy than usual, and he can't be more than two centimetres away from me at any time.
If I'm sad or crying, he'll comfort me.
This one is partly funny, he reacts not only to my genuine sadness but also when I'm watching a sad movie or show.
If I start crying, even if it's when watching a movie or TV show, my dog will come over and lick my tears away.
Besides the tear licking, he sticks close to my side and snuggles in close to comfort me.
If I'm anxious, he'll be more on edge.
When I'm anxious, my dog becomes more reactive. He'll bark more at passers-by, or he'll destroy a toy or something to release his nervous energy.
If I'm happy, he's more playful and excitable.
When I am happy and bubbly, my dog mirrors this and wants to play more than usual, bringing me toys to throw or just asking for playtime.
I also see him match the energy of kids when they are playing together. I tend to stay on top of the situation when that happens because when I see my dog getting over-excited, I moderate my mood to calm him. Kids aren't as good at reading moderating their moods when in this situation, which is why I stay close by to stop it getting too much.
Dogs are such smart and sensitive creatures.
They give us so much unconditional love and affection and know when to provide us with that little bit extra.