Pets to help with anxiety?

NillaMarie
Member

Advice needed - 

I’m going to be living on my own soon. And as excited as I am, I tend to get bad anxiety. I’ve never been an animal person, but I’m thinking about getting a dog to live with me (looking into small or medium dogs atm; no/low shed and not too energetic). Do your pets help you at all with anxiety? Or are they more hassle than help? Also any general pet advice would be helpful!

 

Let me know if you're team "Yes dog" or team "No dog". Would also appreciate your why or why not.

12 REPLIES 12

aquagal49
Member

I’m team “YES DOG” 🐶 I’m currently in between pets and struggling with depression and anxiety and my doggos have been life long sources of grounding, stability, and comfort. I hope to find my new best friend soon!

@aquagal49 I think having some comfort is really going to be nice after transitioning to being on my own. Where are you looking at to get your dog?

I struggle with anxiety as well. While they are not a cure, a little head nudge from my cats or the sound of their purring definitely is a welcome distraction when I am spiraling. Also, as I also suffer from depression, they also can help motivate me to get moving in the morning. I would recommend that if you are considering a dog, perhaps steer away from puppies as potty training etc., can be stressful. Whatever you choose to do, I hope that your anxiety eases a bit, as I know how uncomfortable it can be.

Marisa
Community Manager
Community Manager

good note there on the potty training with puppies 🐶 @love7 that's a good point! 

Marisa
Community Manager
Community Manager

team "YES dog!" life is too short to skip having a furry friend 🐕

Vanessa
Community Manager
Community Manager

I'm team no dog. Might be good for you to be alone for a little while to help find yourself after a drastic transition!

oaktownish
Member
Does it have to be a dog? I love dogs but they don’t fit into my current lifestyle. I have cats instead and I love the energy they bring to my home. They’re also a lot easier to care for since they’re so independent

danielle
Community Manager
Community Manager

I love that this was the first question that came up when I logged onto AthletaWell today because I LOVE my pup, Honey. She was a pandemic pup that I was (somewhat) gifted from my mother in May 2020, and it couldn't have come at a better time because I, like most of us, had a hard time during the beginning of the pandemic between moving, losing my job, etc. She has become the light of my days between keeping me active, creating a community of dog lovers in my life, and, of course, the cuddles. All that said, it's a ton of work, especially at the beginning with training and learning your dog's needs and how you can best manage them, but it gets easier. Now I know how often she needs to go out, how much exercise she needs everyday, and can schedule it into my day.

kaminss
Member
Hi! I struggle with anxiety as well and while sometimes the pup is a big help, other times he’s a trigger for me. For example, he occasionally experiences GI upset. He obviously can’t talk, so my anxiety kicks into overdrive when he has episodes, because I can’t tell if it’s just something passing or something serious. And then when I think about it being something potentially serious, I get even more upset! So I think my advice is to consider what your triggers may be, before taking the leap. Good luck!

Marisa
Community Manager
Community Manager

thanks for chiming in @kaminss - great point about identifying our triggers before taking the leap! 

Dani_P
Guide
Guide

While I am team "yes dog" a million times over, I will say they are a ton of work! It's definitely important to consider that you're whole life and schedule will change -- from making sure they're walked enough times each day, to getting through the puppy years, and scheduling people to watch them or a place you trust to take care of them when you're out of town. That all being said, getting our pup Rye was the best decision I've made in the last year and a half. When I've felt anxious or down, having his constant love and cuddly presence was so grounding and comforting and every challenging part of having a dog has been outweighed by that. 🙂

Marisa
Community Manager
Community Manager

I have an appointment coming up at the dog adoption in San Francisco! Getting very excited 🐕 and starting to sweat at the same time having raised puppies before 😂 I can't wait 🐶 @Dani_P