Testimonial on how dogs help with mental health
Member Claire Webb with her borrowed doggie on the beach

Testimonial on how dogs help with mental health

3 January 2023

Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 6 June 2023

Every one of us may at some point in our life be faced with anxiety or mental health issues, either experienced by ourselves or our loved ones, but did you know that spending time with a dog may help brighten your day?

Cuddling up with a floofy companion may reduce stress hormones, improve mood, and increase feelings of safety. And while therapy dogs are more widely known for their assistance in helping individuals cope with mental health issues, regular pet pups can also be beneficial to those who are just feeling a little under the weather.

One of our borrowers, Claire Webb, reached out to us, to share her experience and how her four-legged pals have helped to improve her mental well-being.

Claire with her borrowed pooch taking a break on their walkies with a doggy biscuit!

Mental health testimonial by Claire Webb

It is usually said that Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and Dogs are a Man’s Best Friend but I would challenge that and say that dogs have been my best friends.
Claire having a cuddle with her Cockapoo pal

Who wouldn’t want to be greeted day after day with a happy bark and a waggy tail? Who wouldn’t want to receive unconditional love with sofa cuddles and to enjoy fresh air and exercise absolutely free of charge?

I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder in 2015 and was unable to continue working, however, I needed to find something to do that would improve my outlook on life and give me a reason to live.

My moods fluctuate so frequently (like the weather!!) that EUPD is difficult to manage but the walks I have with my four legged friends enable me to connect with reality. I often live inside my head and being grounded in nature has allowed me to appreciate the world around me but in spite of all the natural beauty it’s hard to keep up the positivity when your mood is low.

Claire with 2 borrowed doggies on a Christmas walk

I can fully understand what the term ‘January Blues’ is all about. It’s a long dark cold month and Spring seems such a long way off but the thought of those little faces watching at the window for my arrival, motivates me to put on my wellies and go for a stomp in the woods or a paddle down the beach.

I have been borrowing dogs from BorrowMyDoggy for six years and have had significantly less hospital admissions and crises. I have shared so many adventures with my borrowed doggies and have created many wonderful memories. From paddleboarding, dog café visits, Christmas present sharing, cuddles and kisses, I credit the love and affection I have for these loyal, sociable animals for the stabilisation of my mental health. My therapy has fur and four paws.

Claire enjoying paddleboarding with doggy Pip

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Mindfulness: a virtual dog walk

Testimonial on how dogs help with mental health

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