More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Support Partners: Canine Companions ? Your Dog's Role in Your Recovery

Support can come from unexpected places. In addition to turning to your family, friends, and healthcare professional to help you cope with your depression, your dog can also have a positive effect on overall health and well-being.1 A dog can offer a great source of unconditional
love, loyalty and affection.1

Support Partners: Canine Companions will help you understand how your dog can help you cope with depression on a day-to-day basis. It offers practical tips on adding your dog to an existing support network of family and friends.

Just like a human Support Partner, a dog can offer many types of support for someone with depression.

Ways Dogs May Help

  • Ensure that you are getting some exercise1
  • Help reduce loneliness and isolation2
  • Facilitate positive social interactions1
  • Provide a source for enjoyable activities such as grooming, playing and companionship
  • Support Partners: Canine Companions offers a downloadable brochure (PDF :acrobat: 424K) that provides information on the potential benefits of dogs for people with depression and suggested activities to help incorporate your dog into your recovery plan.
Canine Companions is the newest component of the Support Partners program. Be sure to refer back to the Support Partners Guidebooks as they can help identify symptoms of depression, offer tips to manage the illness, and give advice on how to ask for, or offer, support.

1 Serpell JA. Evidence for long term effects of pet ownership on human health. Pets, Benefits and Practice. Waltham Symposium 20. April 19, 1990.
2 Wood L, Giles-Corti B, Bulsara M. The pet connection: pets as a conduit for social capital? Soc Sci Med. 2005;61:1159-1173.


Great article....I just emailed it to my mom so let's hope that it has an impact on her and I can get a dog sooner rather than later :)
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