Dogs: The Best Natural Remedy for Anxiety

I love our dog, Snickers. She joined our family almost a year ago, and she has made such a big difference. She's been so wonderful on so many counts, but I definitely see what a big impact she has on the emotional health on everyone in the family. The biggest part, honestly, is that my sensory seeking kids, instead of using me for all their sensory needs get it out on the dog which makes me much more sane and less stressed out. Additionally, Snickers is amazing for hugs or cuddles or even to cry into her fur, depending on what I need.
Here's a post from a reader on how dogs help with anxiety, and how you can make your dog considered an emotional support animal.

Looking for a natural way to manage your anxiety?

That's an easy one...

All you need is a dog!

How Do Dogs Help With Anxiety?

The way in which dogs help with anxiety has been proven by science...countless times!
Wondering how this actually works?

Well, to begin with, simply looking into your dogs eyes triggers your brain into releasing
feel-good neurotransmitters. Chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin all
increase rapidly, which instantly gives you feelings of love, comfort and bonding.

Being around a dog has also proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as
muscular tension. All of these tend to rise when anxiety is being experienced, and the fact
that a dog can lower these back down to normal levels can really make such a difference.
And that's not all a dog can do...

Dogs have evolved to be highly attuned to our emotions. It doesn't take long for a dog to
understand when their owner is feeling anxious, and they will respond to this in an
appropriate way. Whether you need a hug, a kiss, a listening ear or simply a shoulder to
lean on, your dog will be able to provide all of this and more.

The way in which a dog requires plenty of outdoor time and exercise can also help with
anxiety in the long run.

The Best Dog Breeds for Helping with Anxiety

Just about every dog breed out there would be able to help someone deal with their
anxiety. All dogs in general are able to provide the benefits mentioned above.

However, each breed will have certain characteristics and temperament quirks that make
them unique.

This makes some breeds more suitable than others when it comes to finding a dog that will
help you to deal with your anxiety.

These are some of the top breeds to consider:
• Basset Hound
• Golden Retriever
• Corgi
• Greyhound
• Newfoundland
• Labrador
• King Charles Spaniel

Of course, rescue dogs, no matter the breed, can also be a good choice. It never hurts to pay
a visit to your local animal shelter to see if you feel drawn to any of the dogs there.

Could Your Dog Become an Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal (ESA) is one that helps their owner to overcome a mental
disability, with anxiety being one of these.

If your dog is able to help you with daily life in ways that you would otherwise struggle
with, you may qualify for an ESA.

How do you find out if you qualify for an ESA?

If you are already seeing a professional about your anxiety, they will be able to advise you
on this.

If not, head to a reputable ESA website, such as Certapet. They offer a pre-screening that
takes just five minutes to fill out. Your information will then be sent to a licensed medical
health professional. If they confirm that an ESA would benefit your life, you will then
receive your ESA letter.

This will then enable you to take your dog on planes with you for no extra charge. It also
ensures that accommodation providers accept both you and your dog, even if they usually
have a no-pet policy.

If you suffer from anxiety, a dog could really make a huge difference to your life. They are
able to help with anxiety in so many ways, while offering up multiple other benefits too,
enabling you to live a truly happy and healthy life.

Do you have a pet? What kind? How have you found it has made a difference in your life emotionally?

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Our dogs -- a yellow lab/Chesapeake mix and an Australian cattle dog -- are very dear to us. They are wonderful as sources of company when you're feeling lonely, and do seem to sense when you're not feeling well, or are sad. (In fact, our previous golden lab, Abby, would come up and 'check' on me when I cried at sad movies.
    We can't afford to get them costly surgery or fancy stuff...but they don't seem to care. But we do love them and care for them, as much as they care for us.

    One quick help: if your dog struggles with allergies during this time of year, and into summer, we have been trying feeding them sardines or anchovies every day -- just a few. It really seems to help!

  2. The pic of your dog brought a smile to my face, as we had a corgi back in the States. My wife is looking for a dog that looks a lot like yours and is about the size of a corgi. Would you tell how you found your best family friend? Grateful for any info you can give us?

    1. Snickers isn't a corgi, but we definitely suspect that she has corgi blood in her. (Her mother is a cross between a lab and a border collie and we don't know her father, but definitely suspect corgi.) I found her on a local facebook group for dogs. Send me an email at and I'll tell you the exact facebook group name.

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