If you frequently find yourself struggling with anxiety or depression and nothing seems to be helping, having a furry best friend close by might just be the answer. I have had anxiety issues for a number of years and I find my Goldendoodle Nala keeps me calm and reduces my overall anxiousness. There is nothing like a good huggy during the day!
As a general rule, Goldendoodles are an excellent choice for service or companion animals. They come from a cross between Golden Retrievers and Poodles, both of which have been companion animals for humans. Goldendoodles are therefore naturally inclined to be friendly, loving, and sensitive to their owner’s emotions.
Pet owners who have therapy dogs swear that their pets help them feel better when feeling down, lift their spirits, and even help with everyday tasks. A dog can be a great companion, though it is essential to pick the right one.
If you are having trouble navigating everyday activities because of your heightened anxiety, a Goldendoodle can be your best friend. In fact, they can even improve your overall health because of the several remarkable physical and mental health benefits they offer.
Are Goldendoodles Good Therapy Dogs?
Absolutely! If you suffer from recurring anxiety, you might feel the urge to be anti-social and keep to yourself. This can often lead to declining mental and physical health, especially if you are spending most of your time indoors and feel overly anxious when you go out.
Having a Goldendoodle by your side helps manage your anxiety when you are alone at home – because you are now never really alone but have a new family member who loves you the most. It also provides support and makes it easier for you to be in social settings.
Goldendoodles are naturally inclined to love humans, and they are eager to help out. This makes them easy to train for helping out with other daily tasks as well. If you have a physical disability and need help with nursing tasks, a Goldendoodle might just be the best helper.
These dogs are also known to be low-shedding and possibly hypoallergenic, making them ideal for children and adults with asthma or other respiratory issues.
Goldendoodle Traits that Make Them Helpful for Anxiety
If you are wondering why this specific breed is best-suited for helping out with your mental health needs, Goldendoodles have several traits that make them ideal companion dogs.
- Intelligence. Goldendoodles are quick to adapt to a new home and owner and quickly identify their owner’s needs.
- Trainability. Their intelligence means they are easy to train. Since they are smart dogs, they are always eager to learn new tricks and need mentally stimulating tasks to stay happy and healthy. This makes them ideal for someone who needs a support dog for anxiety or another health issue.
- Loyal and attentive. Not only are Goldendoodles incredibly reliable, but they also love to be around their owner. You will find your dog always lurking around, wanting to cuddle and play with you. For a person suffering from anxiety, this constant, loving, and selfless attention can be extremely beneficial.
Their attentiveness also means that they tend to maintain their focus even in a distracting crowd, especially if they are trained to be service dogs. Therefore, your dog will always be with you when you are out and about in a potentially anxiety-triggering situation.
- Gentle and patient. Goldendoodles have lots of energy, and they love to play, but they are also gentle, patient, and kind. If your anxiety is spiking on a certain day and you don’t feel like getting out of the house, your puppy will cuddle up right next to you and support you through the process. They might even convince you to play a little, helping you break out of your anxious phase.
- Desire to please. Goldendoodles were raised to be companions for humans, and so were their parents. This brings about their innate need to please their human, which means they almost always grow up to be obedient and well-behaved pets.
How Exactly Do Goldendoodles Improve Mental Health?
It is not merely the dog’s traits that can help manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. In fact, it is sometimes simply owning a loving and well-behaved dog that can improve your overall health without you even realizing it.
Here are just a few ways having a dog around can be beneficial for you.
A Sense of Responsibility
Research has shown that several people report an improvement in depression and anxiety after they get a dog. This is because owning a dog comes with certain responsibilities. On days that you don’t feel like getting out of bed because you are depressed, you will find yourself getting up anyway because you must let your dog out to pee and then feed them, and you love them too much not to pay attention.
On days that you feel anxious about going out by yourself, your dog’s wagging tail may incite a desire to take them out on a walk or enjoy some playtime with them in a park. This promotes the healthy feeling that you are needed and are the most important person in another being’s life.
Without even realizing it, your dog can help you escape isolation and make the process feel effortless.
Physical exercise is known to release endorphins, a happy hormone that effectively battles anxiety. Your Goldendoodle would love to cuddle up with you but would also want to play with you and go for jogs. Simply owning a dog can help you get some exercise without even meaning to, and this improvement in your physical health is bound to impact your mental health positively.
Experts believe that a dog’s happiness and gratitude after a walk or some playtime is often mirrored in their owners, who realize that they feel better just because of having done something that makes their pet so happy!
Unconditional Love and Affection
Research shows that petting your dog or cuddling with them releases oxytocin, which is also called ‘the love hormone, while simultaneously decreasing cortisol levels, the stress hormone. A release of oxytocin is directly related to developing a bond with someone and building an emotional relationship.
This can be very beneficial for someone stuck in a hopeless, depressive, and anxious state. When you can see that your Goldendoodle unconditionally loves you, the connection you build with them leads to a positive impact on your mental health.
If you are suffering from anxiety, it is natural if you have trouble bonding with people. A bond with your dog comes easier since there is no insecurity, judgment, or other draining and negative emotions. It is simply purely unconditional affection and loyalty.
Help with Triggers and Symptoms
Suppose you suffer from crippling anxiety that triggers panic attacks. In that case, a trained therapy Goldendoodle can not only help you manage your attacks but can recognize signs before the attacks become full-blown.
Additionally, simply having a trusted companion close by can make it easier for you to get through a panic attack. If you have specific triggers like being approached by strangers, your dog can even be trained to passively keep strangers away in public without scaring or attacking them.
Mental health problems like anxiety can be extremely difficult to manage. However, the first step to recovery recognizes that you need help. Whether you need help with serious panic attacks or with occasional bouts of mild anxiety, a Goldendoodle can be your best companion.
The positive, loving, and non-judgmental relationship between a person and their dog have remarkable benefits. Dogs have been humans’ companions for centuries, and it only makes sense that this timeless bond continues to grow.