Beat The Holiday Blues With Your Dog

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The holiday season is tough for some people. The days are shorter and colder. The dark of night seems particularly long. This can be trying for anyone who has seasonal depression, or regular depression, or even just a mild case of the blues. Many people have experienced losses around the holidays, or miss and remember those they lost earlier in the year. Some have lost jobs or houses during the past few years, and the economy is not improving fast enough. Even the most happy-go-lucky person can get stressed-out and down in the dumps at this time of year.

Enter the family dog! Who better to get the humans up and out of the doldrums? It’s been proven that people who own dogs exercise more, get more sunlight all year ’round, handle stress better, and are generally healthier than their non-dog-owning counterparts.  Who can resist those big, brown eyes asking for a morning walk around the block, or a quick game of fetch in the back yard before the pet-parent heads to the office? Why, around our house, our dogs have been known to yank the leash right off its hook near the kitchen door and bring the leash to us.  If that doesn’t scream “Take me for a walk!” I don’t know what does.

Your dog doesn’t need to be a registered or certified therapy dog to offer you the benefits of his inborn therapeutic abilities. Just cuddle with, or pat, a dog and you’ll reap the rewards instantly. They keep you warm, lower blood pressure, and put a smile on your face.

So the next time you’re feeling blue or stressed out about the holidays, take a moment to “have a moment” with your dog. It will do you both good.

Happy holidays from K.S. Mueller, and hounds Hobie, Charlie Brown, and Cooper.

K.S. Mueller is a travel executive living in Massachusetts who writes essays about dogs, cats and other topics in her spare time. Check out her web sites: ksmueller.comk2k9.com; and fibroworks.com. Follow K.S.Mueller on Facebook and Twitter.

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