How Dogs Improve Mental Health Issues, From Depression To PTSD
When we think of service animals, many of us think primarily of Guide Dogs, assisting people with vision impairment. The comfort our own pets bring us should give an inkling of the type of help a pet’s unconditional love could bring to a person with mental health issues.
Vanessa Holbrow, a mental health campaigner from the UK, had to work hard to make that connection with her Border Terrier. Sir Jack Spratticus – or Jack, for short, and Vanessa both had a rough start in life.
While it took her a year to get him feeling secure enough to help her in raising awareness for mental health issues, Jack is now Vanessa’s official assistance dog. Together they, and many others, human and animal alike, bring much-needed love into this world.
Just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet can help to relax and calm someone with a mental health condition. Dogs especially will encourage their owner to seek exercise and thereby meet other dog-walkers, creating vital social connections.