Hounds Helping Humanity


photo courtsey of Maddie McCord

Maddie McCord, Staff Writer

Mental health has grown to be more common among teens. For teens struggling with mental health, owning a dog may be a step in the right direction. Research shows that pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief, and other health benefits—perhaps more than people.

Simply petting a dog can lower your stress and anxiety?  “..the social interaction between people and their dogs actually increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies),” said John Hopkins. Pets are very good listeners, when going through something, talking through it helps a lot and having someone to spill everything helps even more, especially if that someone is cute and fluffy. 

Dogs can also help ease depression symptoms. Dogs always give a good laugh and a reason to smile. For people who aren’t involved in much, pets give them that sense of importance, dogs need to be fed and cared for. Pets provide companionship, they make people feel wanted and needed, when caring for them. 

Getting exercise is also very important, taking a dog for a walk is a perfect way to get that exercise. Playing with a dog is a fun way to get exercise. Eating habits are also an important factor. Eating when your dog is eating normally helps the dog know they aren’t alone. They want to act as their owner, so if the owner isn’t eating when they are supposed to then they will be less likely to. 

People with ADHD gain skills from owning a dog. They must have a set routine to take care of their dog. It allows them to keep track of time. Children who have ADHD could benefit from having a dog by playing with the dog and getting all of their energy out. 

Mental health is a big struggle in lots of lives. If nothing else, consider getting a dog for your own benefit.