John is the human companion of his beloved dog Kacey. He likes to share tips on how to bond with your best friend.
This article is obviously for those of you who have a fur-baby. Heck, it may even be for those of you who are thinking of adopting a dog but need a gentle nudge to be convinced.
Some people take dogs for granted when it comes to your mental well-being—spend a day without your dog and see just how your mood changes. Hopefully, this article will highlight where your dog can help improve your mood in ways which you may not have noticed before.
6 Ways Your Dog Can Make You Happy
- You always have someone.
- Their affection brightens your day.
- Cuddling with your dog brings joy.
- Going for a walk with your dog is enjoyable.
- Playing with your dog guarantees a smile.
- Their smile is contagious.
1. You Always Have Someone
Your dog has a level of loyalty to you that simply cannot be rivaled. In fact, most dogs are so loyal that they would put their life on the line for you. This means that when you have a day where you feel particularly low or isolated, just look over to your pooch, who will more than likely be staring at you with their tail wagging away.
I have found that even on my darkest of days when I have felt so isolated and low, that just looking over at my dog Kacey can help to remind me that I need to pick myself up and dust myself off because my best friend is right next to me, depending on me!
Unlike humans that come and go, your dog will always be by your side, reminding you that you are wanted, needed, and more importantly, loved.
2. Their Affection Brightens Your Day
Dogs show affection to you in a multitude of ways. On the days that you need a little pick me up, their display of love can really help to bring a smile to your face (no matter how low you are feeling).
Again, a dog's affection is on par with their level of loyalty. They have such a high level of love to offer you and will show it in such a variety of ways that it is hard not to notice. I have found that some days when I am feeling a bit low, just knowing I am loved by this animal that does not speak a word of English (although, at times, I am convinced she is fluent in it) just makes my world seem brighter.
3. Cuddling With Your Dog Brings Joy
If you're a touchy-feely person, then a dog is definitely going to be your best friend—dogs absolutely love cuddles. It is a well-known fact that a hug is extremely beneficial for your mental well-being.
I will be honest. I find Kacey’s cuddles slightly unconventional, and they usually involve just sitting on you and leaning back. A cuddle is a cuddle no matter which way it comes at you. A dog can sometimes recognise if you are a bit out of sorts and will come over to just give you a quick squeeze, almost as if to say, "I am here for you."
4. Going for a Walk With Your Dog Is Enjoyable
This is an effective way to lift your mood with your dog. Getting out into nature, even on your own, will begin to have a positive effect instantaneously. If you combine that effect with being outdoors with your dog, then it is given an added boost.
This is also not just good for you; it is vital to exercise your furry friend. Let’s face it: There are very few things that even come close to putting a smile on your face than watching your dog run around ecstatically with their paws bouncing off the floor and their tongue hanging out the side of their mouth.
Kacey always puts a smile on my face when we are out and try to play fetch. Fetch is a concept that, even after six years or so, she is still unable to grasp. I throw the stick, and she goes bounding over to get it but then runs around with it in her mouth for a good 10 minutes or so. If you tell her to bring it back, she drops it on the floor where she is, almost as if to say, "You come and fetch it, why should I bring it back to you?!"
The other side to this is that if your dog is good around other people and dogs, then it can be a great way to socialise. You are getting a good boost of confidence (if you are nervous in social situations) as well as potentially making a new, less furry friend, especially if they visit the same place routinely.
5. Playing With Your Dog Guarantees a Smile
Now, this has to be the most fun way in which your dog can improve your mood. It is natural for you to go about your day, working, paying bills and running errands that you forget what it is like to have a bit of fun. So stop adulting for five minutes, go grab your pooch's favourite toy and have a good old game of tug of war with them. No matter how low your mood was before, after those five minutes are up, you will be grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Kacey's favourite game (I know it is mine), is playing "Round the Garden". I know some of you are probably tilting your heads at the screen just like your pooch does wondering what the heck I am going on about, so I shall explain. Kacey rolls over on her back and then on her tummy. I circle round with my finger saying the rhyme, "Round and round the garden like a teddy bear" and tickle her belly. This always puts a smile on my face and lifts my mood no matter what.
6. Their Smile Is Contagious
A dog's smile is something that is just so damn adorable and infectious. There is something just so magical about seeing your dog's cheesy grin. This grin can appear by doing any of the above or even by just a little tickle behind the ears. The reason this helps to improve your mood is that it is hard to not smile when someone is smiling back at you, and after all, if you crack a smile in return you will be bringing your levels of negativity right down naturally.
Well, there you have it – six ways in which your dog can help you improve your mood. Again, they are very simplistic ways, but they may be ways that you do not notice when you are feeling a bit low.
I will apologise for waffling on about Kacey but she is my best friend and makes me a proud parent all in the same sentence. She is the reason that I lift my mood and raise my game on a daily basis. No matter what is going on in my life, she is always there wagging her tail!
Let me know if your dog has any quirks or does anything in particular that helps to lift your mood or just generally makes you smile in the comments box below. As always, thank you for reading!
Brenda on March 29, 2018:
So very very true I've seen all the proof by watching you with Kacie so so proud off you and hope your messages get through to people and that it helps them xx