Depression is a widespread issue in the U.S., affecting about 40 million adults. So how do we beat depression? Do dogs and pets help with depression and loneliness? Yes! My dog Lucky has been by my side through some tough and dark times over the last seven years, including federal probation, sex offender counseling, a divorce, and moving locations about nine times. Dogs have been known to reduce the blood pressure of their owners and are less likely to develop heart disease — just playing with dogs has been shown to elevate oxytocin and dopamine.
If you are on the sexual offense registry, living with a felony record, or you’re suffering from a “social death,” take a break and enjoy the outdoors with your pet. It does wonders by clearing your mind and allowing yourself a different vantage point.