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Doggone Mental Health

It is both scientific fact and a mysterious wonder that dogs help us to keep our sanity, find it when we’ve lost it and if all else fails, live better without it!

One in four adults will experience mental health issues of one kind or another; the other three will be directly affected at some stage of the game.  All of us will have follies, faceplants and triumphs throughout our lives.  The lucky 50% of us will have a dog in our lives to break our falls, help us heal and to celebrate with us.

Some dogs will save their people from burning buildings, others will find our lost children.  Many will work as service dogs, assisting people with physical or mental challenges.  Millions more will be there quietly, every day, supporting the people they love through everything from full blown crises to bad hair days! 

Could we do it without them?   Anyone who has known the love of a dog would answer, “Thank goodness we don’t have find out!" 

Mind, body and soul, our dogs make us feel better!


The Doggone Mental Health section of realdogsrealpeople.com is here to explore the science and behold the mystery of how dogs improve our mental and emotional well-being.

Also see Service Dogs for information on mental and emotional support  dogs.

 

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Autistic children have greater social interaction thanks to their pets
Dog Time
More and more studies = more and more proof that dogs can accomplish things we can't for people with autism and other mental and emotional disorders.

A Different Perspective on the Human-Animal Bond
By Carlo Siracusa, DVM, MS, PhD, Dip. ACVB, Dip. ECAWBM
Living with a pet can teach us a lot about successful communication and empathy.

Are All Women Who Love Dogs Neurotic?
Jennifer Cattet, PHD
Not all, but some...


My Dog Always Eats First
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. in Animal Emotions, Psychology Today
Dogs often are the oxygen and reason for living for homeless people.

Dogs, A Medicine For Mental Health Problems? By Elizabeth Landau, CNN Charles Hernandez, 49, credits his dog Valor for helping him cope with PTSD.

Abused Kids Speak Freely Around Dogs
Jim Dalrymple Ii, The Salt Lake Tribune
Man’s best friend helps child victims cope with emotionally-trying abuse interviews.

Mental Health Foundation funding PTSD dogs for first responders
CBC News
'They’re the ones who run in when other people are running out,' says Starr Dobson


Our Dogs Deliver The Best Medicine ~ Laughter!
Sarah Wilson, My Smart Puppy
The research of the health benefits of laughter is compelling:

How Dogs Spread Happiness
Steve Dale for USA Weekend
The mere act of petting a dog can cause a chain of events. Instantly, neurotransmitters in our heads do a happy dance — it's involuntary. We feel good.

Soldiers tout effectiveness of psychological service dogs in treating PTSD, But National Defence says there isn't yet enough evidence to support the program.
By Jessica Bruno for The Hills Times Online
But National Defence says there isn't yet enough evidence to support the program.

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A Shelter Dog Helps A Grieving Boy To Smile Again
Life With Dogs


7 Reasons You Need A Pet
Erin Dostal, Prevention.com
Furry friends do more than keep you warm at night—research shows that pets offer a whole range of health benefits


DOGS AND ATTACHMENT THEORY
JoAnna Lou
A deep emotional connection with our pets brings many benefits

NEVER UNDER-ESTIMATE THE HEALING POWER OF A DOG
Meg Harris
Bottom Line: Help your dogs and they will help you right back!

Even from a distance, our pets can heal us, but only if we love them enough!

WHO NEEDS DR. PHIL WHEN YOU HAVE DR. FIDO?
Tom Jacobs
The more we love our dogs, the better it is for us!

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CANINE EMPATHY:  DO WE JUST WANT IT TO EXIST, OR IS IT REAL?

Psychology Today Canine Empathy: Does Your Dog Really Care If You Are Unhappy. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201206/canine-empathy-your-dog-really-does-care-if-you-are-unhappy


HELPING TO SAVE DOGS DOES WONDERS FOR PRISON INMATES!
Operation Second Chance is helping save Dogs on death row in Georgia.

One-on-one Therapy Sessions with Canine Psychiatrists
Courtesy of The Nation
“Pets don’t judge, talk back or complain. Instead they listen well, have open minds and faces and enable their owners to freely unburden themselves.”

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