One of the hardest parts of having anxiety can be losing the ability to carry out everyday tasks that most people would consider insignificant. Even for those with mild cases of anxiety, the thought of leaving the house can provoke discomfort and distress.
In these situations, a canine companion can be a great help in combatting the everyday challenges that are brought on by anxiety, such as leaving your home.
How Do Dogs Help?
There’s no doubt that dogs can provide emotional support to humans, but how do they help you get out of the house? Some of this is down to the fact that part of being a responsible dog owner requires you to leave the house.
After all, unless you leave your house, there’s no way you can provide your dog with the lifestyle it needs to be happy. Let’s take a look at how owning a dog can help you feel comfortable leaving the house.
The amount of exercise your dog requires depends on a variety of factors. That said, there’s no escaping that dogs need a daily dose of exercise to be happy and healthy.
Conditions such as agoraphobia can leave individuals finding it difficult to leave the house on their own. The need to provide your dog with regular exercise gives you a reason to get outside every day. The fact that you have a bond with your pet also means you don’t feel like you’re going out alone.
Providing For Your Dog
As a dog owner, it’s your duty to provide for your dog. If you run out of dog food or need to take your pup to the vet, you’ve got no choice but to leave the house. The added responsibility of owning a pet means that some days, if you don’t feel like leaving the house, tough luck. On the whole, the need to provide for a loved one will help to outweigh your negative thoughts associated with leaving the house.
Promoting Social Connections
As we mentioned earlier, dogs need exercise. The great thing about this is that you suddenly have common ground with hundreds of owners in your area. Humans can sometimes find it daunting to socialize with strangers, but in comparison, dogs don’t often have this problem. You’ll find your dog will quite happily approach other dogs in the park. You will be in situations that will naturally force you to come out of your comfort zone. You may even find yourself socializing with other dog owners.
Even if you don’t feel ready to talk to other dog owners, you can still find comfort in the presence of other dog owners. Places such as parks or nature trails are relaxing environments and will provide you with opportunities to socialize that you don’t get at home.
On the whole, having a dog in your life can prove invaluable for reducing anxiety when it comes to leaving the house. If you don’t own a dog, it’s worth exploring the benefits that they can bring to your life, but remember that it works both ways; dogs also require emotional support when going out and about, and striking a balance is key to a good relationship with your dog.