It just takes a wagging tail

Is your therapist really of that much help or are you just shelling money for no real benefit? Maybe all you need are those furry creatures commonly known as a man's best friend.


Picture by Archana Jain

Neharika Archana Victor

Across the world, people spend a lot of money seeking help from therapists when they feel like they haven’t found solid ground and when things become too overwhelming for them.When unexpected events occur such as a catastrophe, losing a loved one and the day to day pile-up of assignments and deadlines that never seem to go away, there is a natural build-up of stress which eventually leads to further health complications. Stress continues to be the number one reason that causes people to have low immunity.

Dogs are commonly referred to as a man’s best friend and dogs live up to this expectation and most times even become the individual’s significant other. Dogs have an observable impact on people. Whether it’s a long day and a stressful one at that, their wagging tails and wet noses have a therapeutic effect on humans. It is a known fact that dog owners have relatively lower stress levels and make fewer visits to the doctor than non-dog owners. This is primarily due to the positive impact that owning a dog has on a person.

There are several breeds of dogs available and each have their own unique way of providing comfort to humans. Some of the best breeds are Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Pugs, Shih Tzu, and Irish Setters. Dogs are known to be the best stress-busters, although they are a huge responsibility, activities that involve a dog are always known to take your mind off your monotonous routine. They turn your frown into a smile in just a matter of seconds. They can be your best companion when no one else is around, and they make everything look easier and are probably the best listeners.

Research conducted at the University of California showed that patients suffering from diseases like Alzheimer’s have fewer emotional outbursts and panic attacks due to the presence of a dog. Dogs have helped individuals with various health issues, including children with learning disorders to find purpose and add meaning to their life. They help in giving older adults a sense of reassurance, especially when children move out of the home, dogs help a great deal in coping with this transition. Scientists at the Washington State University demonstrated that individuals who interacted with dogs for just 10 minutes had a significant impact on improving the mood, as well as a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone.

Picture by Neharika Victor

Dogs are one of the smartest animals, they can detect the slightest change in the tone of your voice and understand your mood almost accurately and most of all provide you with love that is unconditional, something no human can provide you with. After all, all we seek is love at the end of the day, and these four-legged creatures provide nothing short of that. Research has found that pet owners have relatively lesser depression and anxiety that non-dog owners. Dogs give you a reason to live and provide meaning to your life. Most often people have found that canines help you find your identity because of how patient they are with you. They fulfill some of the most basic needs such as touch, warmth, affection and love providing you benefits physically, mentally, and emotionally.

So, the next time you think of seeking help from a therapist and spending thousands of rupees that may not provide you with the help you need, think of adopting or buying a dog. These furry creatures provide you with the best help you can ever get.

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