Owning a dog can improve mood and reduce symptoms of poor mental health and anxiety, and research shows that spending time with a dog can reduce output of the stress hormone cortisol.

For those struggling with their mental health, having a dog can make a huge difference to your life. It can be hard to motivate yourself and you may experience tiredness and low energy as a symptom of poor mental health. This can make day to day life extremely challenging.


Dogs are great for motivating us to not only interact with them but to recognise their need to be cared for. If you have a dog, they will require exercise outdoors. What we often do not consider is the benefits regular walking has on our own bodies.

Daily, brisk walking can help with the following;

  • Improve cardiovascular fitness & circulation
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve your balance and coordination
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Improve your mood, cognition, memory and sleep
  • Reduce stress and tension


Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain that energises you and creates positive feelings. It will reduce stress, boost mood, and increase mental energy. Additionally, the routine of walking a dog every day can be a healthy distraction from negative thoughts.

Buddy is training to be a Dementia support Dog.

Trained, owned & loved by
Claire Schultz-Mace

Research studies from around the world have found that dogs offer health benefits to their owners.

  • Stroking and patting a pet can reduce the physiological indicators of stress, including high blood pressure.
  • The non-judgemental companionship and unconditional love offered by pets is known to have considerable mental health benefits for owners, including increased self-esteem.

We understand that there are specific types of service dogs that support PTSD, Anxiety, Touch therapy, Autism, SEND and Dementia, but dogs that work full time as disability support dogs also provide reassurance, stability and companionship alongside any physical activity they may undertake in their role. They provide a calming influence during demanding situations, making them vital partners to those that face uncertainty, lack of consistency and anxiety depending on their situation.


Dogs are fantastic companions, both indoors and out. Walking your dog can lead to conversations with other people and regular routes means that you often see the same people which can lead to relationship building.

Even if you don’t own a dog yourself, there are still plenty of ways to spend time walking them to achieve these benefits. Ask a friend or family member if you can take their dog for a walk or look for other places to volunteer as a dog walker. Many animal shelters rely on volunteers to walk the dogs in their kennels. Not only are you getting these mental and physical health benefits for yourself, but you’ll also have a boost from knowing you’ve helped dogs in need.


We can all agree that dogs are incredibly perceptive animals and we are lucky to have them in our lives.

If you are struggling with your mental health, please find the links below to organisations that can support you.




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