How your dog helps you through illness

 In Coping with Chronic illness, Patient Experience

Illness can be tough, and it is something that many of us will have to face – whether personally or through someone we love. We can end up pushing other people away, or feeling overwhelmed by their presence and attempts to help. There are times where all we need is a silent companion who will be there to listen and give support when you need it the most. Here are some of the ways your dog can help you get through your illness.

#1 Unconditional Love

The thing we need more than anything when we are sick is love, and dogs offer it unconditionally. No matter how awful you are feeling, or how angry you are with the world, they will be there by your side without judging you for the way you feel. They will not try to offer advice, and will instead comfort you as best they can. They are happy to be by your side any time you need them.

#2 Responsibility and Structure

We can get lost in our illness and lose all semblance of a daily routine. While you may not be able to do everything you used to for your dog, it is important to do as much as you can – even if it is just letting them outside and feeding them. You can hire people to walk them, or ask friends, but as long as you try to do what you can, the sense of responsibility and structure remains, giving you something to strive towards every day.

#3 Reminding You to Care for Yourself

Our dogs don’t just remind us to look after them, but also ourselves. When we run out of food for them, we need to make a trip to the store or order online, and that reminds us to buy the things that we need too. If you are able to walk them, it also gets us outside when for a period of time every day, so we get fresh air and exercise. Plus, we want to take care of ourselves so that we can look after them.

#4 Socialisation

Online and in person, people love to talk about their dogs. If you can’t get out much, there are plenty of virtual forums for discussing all things dog, so you can meet and speak with like-minded people. If you are able to go outside and walk your dog for a little bit, you get to see other dog walkers and have a quick chat about your dogs, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. They are the perfect conversation topic.

To Conclude

Our dogs are one of the best and most constant forms of support that we could ask for, and even when we are sick, they put our needs before their own. They are an emotional support, and if you would like to read more about the ways they can help our mindset and mental health, this informative guide can tell you everything you need to know. So, when you are feeling at your worst, your dog will be there to pick you back up again.

About the Author

Will is a freelance writer, his blog can be seen here . If you are interested in more information on the benefits of dog ownership including health tips, buyer’s guides and gear reviews, then check out his guides over at

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