Depression and Pets: Do Puppies Work For Depressive Peoples

Depression and Pets

Depression and Pets

Our dogs not only keep us company, but they also keep our feet warm when we nap on the couch, protect us from the evil vacuum cleaner, and try to solve our problem of mismatched socks… by eating them. They are a blessing!

Having a pet is a very big responsibility, but it is also very fun. Dogs love to play with us and not leave us alone for a moment.

Sharing life with an animal helps reduce stress levels. There are even studies that seem to show that having a pet relieves depression after a loss. Therefore, in principle, all dog breeds are good for people with depression.

Characteristics of therapy dogs

Dogs have great empathy and know when we are sad or when something bad happens to us. For this reason, they are the most common corporate puppy therapy.

To collaborate in therapeutic interventions, dogs must have particular characteristics:

  • Be very sociable and not be afraid of anyone.
  • Have great security and self-confidence.
  • Have a great desire to collaborate and spend time with people.
  • Be friendly, calm, and balanced.
  • Don’t be apathetic or too active.
  • Have a lot of motivation and enthusiasm.

Dog breeds for depressive people

People with depression can go to Animal Therapy or adopt a pet to accompany them daily and help them overcome the worst moments.

The main point to keep in mind when adopting an animal that helps us overcome the worst moments is that we have to like it and like it. Therefore, it is not only a question of race, but also of rapport.

However, when choosing a dog for a person with depression, it is worth looking at the same characteristics that are looked for in therapy dogs. That is to say, a balanced, calm, and sociable dog will always be a better option for these cases than a dog with behavioral disorders or too nervous.

Dog breeds that help people with depression

The most common dog breeds in therapy for people with depression are the following:

Golden Retriever: This breed is very balanced and intelligent, which is why it is the guide dog par excellence. Golden Retrievers are always alert and quickly detect when there is a problem. In addition, they are affectionate, loyal, and calm.

Maltese and Frize: they are very sociable and have a warm and close attitude. They have a lot of patience and like to encourage others.

Yorkshire terrier: these adorable little dogs make very good company and awaken a lot of tenderness. Furthermore, his character is calm and happy.

Labrador: Labradors are dogs that are very sensitive and always listen when you talk to them. On the other hand, they are calm and very affectionate. And they are always in a good mood!Β 

Dog therapy for depression

Animal therapy for depression consists of assisted interventions of a fixed duration and with specific objectives aimed at improving the health and well-being of people.

These interventions can be group or individual. However, all of them must be supervised by a specialist in Animal Assisted Therapy and coordinated by a multidisciplinary team (doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc.).Β 

In addition, the animals must first undergo a veterinary consultation to check their health status and thus rule out zoonotic diseases.Β 

Places where dogs can help with depression

Dog therapies for depression can be carried out in places such as the following:Β 

  • Residence for the elderly.
  • Penitentiary centers.
  • Hospitals and oncology centers.
  • Minor detention centers.
  • Shelters.
  • Support groups for people with addictions.
  • Schools.

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