How adopting a dog has improved my mental health


Bruce my staffie with some footballs My mental health hasn’t been the best over the last couple of months. I was unsatisfied at work, I lost my Grandad, IBS was plaguing my evenings and I was rundown, miserable and fed up. Over time things started to get better but the biggest turning point for me was probably when we adopted Bruce.

We’ve had Bruce in our lives for just over a month now and I wouldn’t swap him for the world (although I would really like it if his pumps smelled like coconuts or freshly baked bread but hey ho, you can’t have it all).

Three ways adopting a dog improved my mental health:

I have a reason to get out of bed on a morning

I was really struggling to get out of bed on a morning (as mentioned this is ‘cos I was fed up at work) but having Bruce means that I now have no problem jumping out of bed on a morning. We wake up at half seven, chill for a bit, then we get up for a walk and some breakfast before I leave for work. I love our little routine as it puts me in a really positive mood and makes me feel for the day ahead.

My fitness levels are improving and I’m getting way more fresh air.

Obviously having a dog means lots of walks which is great for both my physical and mental health. As he’s a very strong dog we are going a little bit further every day which also means that my fitness levels are getting that little bit better with every day that passes. It’s really nice getting out and about so early in the morning although I may not be feeling the same way come January! Another great thing about having Brucey is that Jody and I are taking him out on weekends together – We are getting out of the house, not spending any money, spending quality time together and we are burning some calories at the same time. So many pluses!

I’m thinking about something other than myself

Having a dog means that I have to think about someone other than myself. I have to make sure he’s fed, watered, walked, has been to the toilet and has an enriching lifestyle. Aswell as this husband and I both have to co-ordinate with each other and make sure someone is around to give him everything he needs, aswell as cuddles and scratches. We’ve been declining offers to go to the pub left, right and centre which also means great things for the old bank balance! It’s great to have another living thing to focus on.

Do you have any pets? Tell me!


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