Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising

Pets


Latest Story

My Dog Helps Boost Good Mental Health

October 7th, 2021

When I was little, I had a best friend, his name was Sam, and he was a West Highland White Terrier. I only saw him in school holidays as my relatives lived on the Isle of Wight, but he meant the world to me and I had many happy visits, chatting to him, helping to walk and feed him, play with him and just sit with him and feel calm. I was a very shy child and at this age, my doggy friend Sam gave me confidence and helped me overcome worries and fears. He loved me and I loved him, I felt secure.

Now, roll forward many (many!) years and I still hold the relationship with my dog (s) as one of the most important aspects that contribute to keeping me less anxious and boosting my mental health in a good way. I often look back and feel in awe of the amazing benefits that my dogs have given me over the years. They are remarkable beings, and I am sure that all of you who are dog guardians/parents will agree that there is nothing like having the love and unconditional support of a treasured dog. The pandemic over the past 18 months has put a strain on everyone’s mental health and I would like to say thankyou to all of the dogs that have helped us to cope and manage our every day lives. Let’s look at some of the amazing ways that they have helped us:

  1. Providing Companionship- Sharing your life with your dog gives you an opportunity to provide for their needs, share special time, stroke your dog gently, gain a feeling of worth and that you are needed.
  2. Structure to your day- lets face it, if you have a dog, you have to get up and take them out, feed them, interact with them, play with them and train them and it gives you a great sense of purpose to your day. It also provides you with a sense of wellbeing and achievement.
  3. Exercise- we know that exercise is good for us so taking your dog out for its regular walks and run gets our hearts pumping and the good endorphins running through our bodies. Being outside with our dogs in the fresh air, combined with a walk in a wood is great for calming us and clearing our heads.
  4. Dogs don’t judge- Isn’t amazing that our dogs love us unconditionally? Even if we are having a bad day, the look of love a dog can give us can lift us up. They really don’t care if you are in your scruffiest outfit and your hair is looking a mess.
  5. Providing comfort if you are anxious/depressed/feeling low/stressed- just having my dog around is such a comfort if I am having a particularly anxious day. They don’t really have to do anything, but their presence in my life is so key.
  6. Socialising/meeting people- walking our dog enables us to say hi to a fellow dog walker, or engage in a conversation, which helps us to feel more connected to others and less lonely.

There have been numerous studies on the benefits of owning dogs, they help lower blood pressure, they aid with recovery from illness. The simple process of stroking a dog or touching them helps to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and release more oxytocin which can be calming and relax us. Did you know that if you look lovingly into your dogs eyes, the level of oxytocin is not just raised in you, but also your dog? Thus, intensifying that strong bond between you.

We all know the benefits of therapy dogs that do such amazing work, but just for now let’s celebrate the massive benefits our companion dogs bring us, boosting our mental health and helping us to live fully in the moment.

Tracey Prall
www.canineconnections.co.uk
07735401076

More Stories

Spotty Dog Pet Services

April 9th, 2020

I’m Anna Roberts and after years of sitting in an office I took the plunge and decided to set up my own business last November. I have owned dogs all of my life and have 30 years’ experience with horses and compete my own Welsh cob on a regular basis. I can offer an individual […]

Enrichment ideas for your dog while in lockdown!

April 8th, 2020

From Tracey Prall at Canine Connections Dog Training. So we are all adjusting to a new routine now we are in lockdown and our dogs are having to adjust too…..limited exercise for our beloved canines means that they might be going just a little bit stir crazy (like us!) so I have put together some […]

Carrots not Sticks

October 19th, 2018

I am celebrating…want to know why? At the end of August the Government announced that Electric Shock Collars for use on dogs and cats will be banned in England. This is great news as various charities, the Kennel Club and other Welfare organisations have been lobbying for this for a long time. This Ban will […]

Pets of Abergavenny

October 1st, 2018

Last month we asked you to post photos of your pets to Abergavenny Voice’s Facebook Page and, as ever, you did not disappoint! There were so many photos to go through and we couldn’t possibly fit all of your lovely pets in…but we tried to put in as many as we could. Can you spot […]

Monmouthshire’s local communities give dog fouling the red card

January 12th, 2016

Ask any community for their top three concerns and the list will often include dog fouling. Conscious of this, Monmouthshire County Council has been working with a group of town and community councils as well as local police community support officers to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets, and to enforce the […]

What About Fido?

July 11th, 2014

Booking a holiday is an exciting time – we decide on a location and then set about booking the time off work. The next thing to do is sit back and count down the days/weeks/months until the departure date arrives. Right? If you happen to be a pet owner, sorting out ‘Merlin’s’ or ‘Fatcat’s’ needs […]

Feeling Clucky

June 23rd, 2014

There are many benefits to keeping chickens, namely eggs, but a lot of pleasure to be derived too. Here, Liz Sivewright of Llanfoist Poultry & Game Group gives us the lowdown. There is an increase in people wanting to keep chickens in the back garden, and there are many reasons for this. They provide fresh […]

Cats behaving badly

June 22nd, 2014

Anti-social antics and the reasons behind them Cats are wonderful, curious and independent creatures and make fabulous companions. Nevertheless, most cat owners will have experienced a frustrating feline situation at one time or another – you know the kind of thing; going to the loo where they shouldn’t, scratching, hissing, clawing. While this can be […]

Quite Interesting: Canine Facts

June 22nd, 2014

As dog owners we all know that our dogs are clever, able to read our body language expertly and are affectionate social creatures, but you may be amazed to discover just how interesting your dog really is. We still have a lot to discover about this amazing species but here are a few tasters to […]

Please support our local businesses