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  • Writer's pictureMary Puppins

How Small Dogs Help Your Mental Health

Updated: Feb 22

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Mental Health - A Lifeline for Loneliness

Small dogs have an extraordinary ability to improve our mental health and combat loneliness.

Loneliness has become a widespread issue in today's fast-paced world, where digital interactions often replace face-to-face connections.

However, having a small dog, small breed, or toy canine as a companion can significantly alleviate feelings of isolation.

Their constant presence and unwavering affection provide companionship that can be genuinely therapeutic for our mental health challenges, especially for individuals living alone.


"A pet can be a great source of comfort and motivation. In many ways, pets can help us to live mentally healthier lives." - Mental Health Foundation


Our Mental Health & Small Dogs - Stress Reduction Through Routine

Small dogs thrive on routines and naturally encourage their owners to establish and adhere to daily schedules.

This structured routine can particularly benefit individuals dealing with mental health issues, stress and anxiety.

The predictability of activities like walks, playtime, and feeding times benefits small dogs.

It helps their owners maintain a sense of order and control.

Challenging Mental Health Times & Small Dogs Emotional Support

Life can present its fair share of challenges, and small dogs offer comfort during challenging moments that impact our mental health.

The simple act of petting a small dog can release oxytocin, often called the "love hormone."

This hormone promotes feelings of trust and bonding, which can be invaluable during hardship.

Small dogs, whether at Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding or in your home, serve as emotional anchors when life's waters get rough.

Mental Health of Older People - Small Dogs Provide Enhanced Quality of Life for Seniors

Small dogs are especially beneficial for seniors mental health.

They offer a sense of purpose and companionship, which can be a vital component of mental health and well-being as individuals age.

The joy that small dogs bring to the lives of older people is immeasurable, and the regular interaction provides cognitive stimulation, fostering a more fulfilling and happy retirement.

Small Dogs Reducing Symptoms of Poor Mental Health & Depression

Studies have indicated that the presence of small dogs can reduce symptoms of poor mental health and depression.

Small dog owners often report a greater sense of purpose, reduced feelings of hopelessness, and an overall improvement in their mental health and emotional well-being.

This effect is particularly pronounced in individuals facing clinical depression or other mood disorders.

Mental health improved by connections with small dogs

Small Dogs Facilitating Social Connections

Small dogs serve as natural conversation starters.

Taking your small dog for a walk or spending time at a small dog park can lead to interactions with fellow small dog lovers.

These social connections have a positive impact on mental health by reducing feelings of isolation and fostering a sense of community.

Small Dogs Unconditional Love & Acceptance

Small dogs, with their boundless affection and non-judgmental nature, offer a level of unconditional love and acceptance that is truly exceptional.

In a world where societal pressures can take a toll on one's mental health, the presence of a small dog offers a reassuring sanctuary of pure love and understanding.


"Research shows that dogs provided a vital source of comfort and companionship during this time, with an overwhelming 95 per cent of owners agreeing that their dog improves their mental health." - The Kennel Club



Why are dogs good for mental health?

Dogs help improve mental health by providing companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness, and offering unconditional love and support.

How to improve dogs' mental health?

To improve dogs' mental health, provide them with regular exercise, mental stimulation through toys and games, a balanced diet, proper training, and plenty of affection and attention.

How do dogs help with mental health?

Dogs help with mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression through their calming presence, companionship, and the release of oxytocin and endorphins when interacting with them.

Why are dogs good for your mental health?

Dogs are good for your mental health because they offer companionship, reduce stress levels, increase physical activity, and provide a sense of purpose and routine.

What dogs are good for mental health?

Small dogs, such as terriers, pugs, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are often recommended for mental health support due to their affectionate nature and suitability for indoor living.

How do dogs affect mental health?

Dogs positively affect mental health by promoting relaxation, boosting mood, decreasing feelings of loneliness, and encouraging social interaction and physical activity.

Final Thoughts

The bond between small dogs and mental health is multi-faceted and profound.

Beyond the scenic landscapes of Cheshire and the dedicated services of Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, small dogs play a pivotal role in promoting emotional well-being.

Their ability to combat loneliness, reduce stress, and provide emotional support during challenging times is well-documented.

Small dogs enhance the quality of life for older people and offer relief to those dealing with depression.

Moreover, they facilitate social connections and provide a unique form of unconditional love and acceptance that can be transformative.

It's a testament to the extraordinary impact that these small furry companions have on the mental health of their owners, making them cherished members of the family.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

At Mary Puppins, we prioritise your cherished pets' well-being, offering a haven of comfort and care during their stay.

Our commitment is to ensure your small breed dogs are treated like family, receiving top-notch attention and care.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

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Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.



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We provide free, useful information for pet parents of small dog breeds UK. 

Please be aware that our opinions may differ to yours and that's ok. We encourage healthy, positive discussion. 


We all love our small dogs! And want them to live a long and happy life. 

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