8 Ways Dogs Can Ease Grief And Loneliness

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Whether there’s been a death in the family or you’re going through an emotional divorce, dogs truly are man’s (and woman’s) best friends.

Finding new ways to cope with grief, loneliness or divorce can be an uphill battle. But more and more people are turning to the comforts of becoming a pet owner to ease some of that emotional pain. Dogs can help us heal, even when we think we’re past the point of healing.

1. Companionship

Dogs make excellent companions, whether you take a long hike or simply want company on the couch. Many people have turned to adoption when they’re grieving or lonely because animals can help fill a void.

2. Getting out of the house

When we’re depressed or grieving, getting dressed in the morning and leaving the house can seem like an impossible task. However, dogs will give you the perfect excuse to get outdoors—they need to go for walks! You may find you welcome your new found responsibility to leave the house.

3. Making new friends

If you’ve lost a partner or are recently divorced, it can be hard to open up to others—even your closest friends. Because dogs force us to leave the house each and every day, we’re often confronted with new people, whether it’s at the store or a dog park. Your dog needs socialization—and so do you! Play dates with other pup owners, long walks in the park or trips to a dog daycare can introduce you to a whole new set of friends.

4. Distraction

Sometimes, in times of grief, throwing ourselves head-first into routines and a variety of tasks proves to be a great distraction. And, as pet owners know, dogs require a lot of attention and responsibility. Having someone else depend on you, like your pup, will take you out of your own head for a little while and maybe even help you replace some of your negative thoughts with ones of joy and positivity.

5. Unconditional love

No matter their age, breed or size, your dog will love you unconditionally. And, in times of crisis, they can remind you what it feels like to experience that kind of love and affection.

6. They remind us of the little things in life

Most dog parents freely admit to spending hours watching their pet do something as simple, yet entertaining, as chasing butterflies or chewing socks. Dogs experience the every day in ways us humans tend to avoid, but it serves us well to be reminded that pets are our greatest teachers when it comes to appreciating life’s simple pleasures.

7. Exercise

All dogs need exercise, regardless of their breed. Some may require as little as 10 to 15 minutes per day, but this still ensures you’ll get outdoors for a breath of fresh air. Keeping active after a loss is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you’re not already a pet owner, research dog breeds that best suit your exercise goals and start taking them for walks in the morning and evening. Before you know it, you’ll both be comfortable with your routine.

8. Creating positive energy

It’s important to find positive energy to surround yourself with on a daily basis. Coping with the loss of a loved one and combating loneliness will be one of the toughest obstacles you’ll have to overcome, but your dog will act as your best friend and support system. He’ll be a source of joy and give you an outlet to channel your positive energy.

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