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Can our dogs help us reduce stress and anxiety? The answer is yes. Dogs reduce stress and assist their owners in lowering anxiety, and they are even beneficial in overcoming depression. How do they do it? Below, we explain why your dog can help you feel better.

Based on research conducted by psychologist Alan Beck and psychiatrist Aaron Katcher, it was discovered that when a person pets a familiar dog for a period ranging from 5 to 25 minutes, the following physiological changes occur:

  • It leads to a decrease in blood pressure.
  • Heart rate slows down.
  • Muscle tension is reduced.
  • Breathing becomes more regular.

All these physiological changes result in a reduction of hormones such as cortisol (a hormone related to stress), leading to the following benefits:

  • Stress reduction.
  • Prevention of stress-related heart problems.

For all these reasons, we can assert that dogs reduce stress. And this is not the only benefit that dogs provide to your health. Having a dog helps people with anxiety or depression for the following reasons:

  • They offer great companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness.
  • They encourage physical activity. Due to the responsibilities that come with having a dog, including providing the necessary exercise, dog owners are obliged to take multiple walks each day. This brings us to the next point:
  • They promote the owner’s socialization through daily outings.
  • They provide a sense of being needed and essential to someone. For individuals with certain emotional issues, it’s important to feel that someone relies on them.
  • And finally, love—dogs give love to their owners. They show it when they’re happy to see them, when they become joyful when being petted, when they display friendliness, affection, and cuddliness with their owners. There’s a reason they are known as man’s best friend!

As you can see, the benefits your pet can provide are numerous and go beyond affectionate companionship. Having a dog is a rewarding companionship that also improves your health and offers emotional support. So, dogs reduce stress. Some breeds are more affectionate, while others may be more independent. Get to know the temperaments of different breeds by consulting their profiles.


To learn more amazing skills and curiosities about our beloved dogs, visit our articles such as: what are dogs’ whiskers for? or do dogs dream? among other frequently asked questions. Learn all about man’s best friend!