Going through a breakup or heartbreak can be really tough. But if you own a dog, it might be a little easier.
Whether it’s cuddling up and crying or distracting yourself with the dog park, your canine friend can help you move on and shed the sadness. Don’t take our word for it, we have the science to back it up.
Here are 8 facts that prove dogs can help with heartbreak.
#1 All the Love You Can Handle
Your dog is there every moment, probably ready to give you a big slobbery kiss or warm cuddle. It doesn’t matter what you do, he’ll always be the most excited one to see you when you come home. Replacing your partner’s love with your dog’s love really works because your dog has an infinite supply. And that’s good because science shows forming loving connections has positive effects on mental health.
#2 Gets You Out of The House
Heartbreaks are sad and depression can make you want to stay inside without seeing anyone for days. When you have to take your dog outside or for a walk, he forces you to see daylight and that there’s a whole big world out there full of oppawtunties. Even if you’re dreading it, taking him for a walk makes you actually interact with people, which is a healthy step. In fact, a Harvard study showed that dogs can help their owns develop human relationships and social support. That’s one way you can deal with loneliness after a breakup.
#3 It Can Literally Help Your Heart
Not just heartbreak—but your actual heart! Studies show that owning a dog may have physical benefits such as lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and reducing your cardiovascular reactivity in stressful situations. Combined, these benefits can improve heart health and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.
#4 Forces You To Exercise
Whether it’ just a short walk or hike to deplete your dog’s hyper energy, he probably forces you to get a bit of exercise. Even if you don’t like “working out,” studies show that moving your body can boost endorphins, the feel-good chemicals. That means, the more you move, the more you may decrease your chances of breakup depression.
#5 Dog Have Empathy
Dogs seem to have an intuitive sense about when their humans are feeling down. Many pups quiet down and lay beside their owner to show their support. Science supports this: One study found that dogs feel empathy for people and can act on if they focus on the person. And as it turns out, you don’t really need a special dog to get this benefit. The 16 therapy dogs in the study performed the same as other dogs when showing empathy.
#6 Can Decrease Stress
Sometimes heartbreak is more complicated and you have to deal with stresses like giving the person their things back, moving out, separating or divorce lawyers. Luckily, your dog can help calm your anxiety during these times. One 2015 study found that interacting with dogs was associated with a slower stress response.
#7 Can Decrease Loneliness
If you’re used to seeing your partner and hanging out all the time, it can be difficult to be alone at first. But you’re not really alone—you have your pup! While he may not speak, he could still help you combat loneliness. According to a 2014 study, owning a dog helped older women feel less lonely.
#8 Can Help You Get Another Partner
Yes, having a dog can help you meet other fish in the sea! In fact, you probably have better luck with a dog than without one. A 2015 study found that women find single men more attractive if they own a dog. Good news for ladies too: 26% of men said they found a woman more attractive if she owned a pet.
See, with your furry friend, you can get through this 🙂