Anxiety is a natural response that helps us stay alert and avoid situations that may be dangerous. However, our bodies often struggle to differentiate between real dangers and perceived ones. Crossing a vehicle-only bridge by foot in the middle of the night? Dangerous. Hosting a dinner for your in-laws? Definitely not worth getting anxious over (although in-laws can be scary).
While hobbies, therapists, and medication can help our bodies differentiate between legitimate dangers and non-threatening situations, more and more people are turning to a new source of anxiety relief: dogs.
With their warm eyes and furry coats, dogs are partners that occupy a special place in their owners’ hearts. While they can be a lot of work, getting a dog is often one of the best ways to control runaway anxiety.
Listed below are some of the best dogs for anxiety. All of the breeds mentioned are joyful, loving, and loyal—able to take your stress and anxiety and turn it into something positive.
Havanese are one of the tiniest dogs, but they come packed with loads of love and affection. The Havanese is even nicknamed “the velcro dog” since it never wants to leave its owner side.
In addition to being loving, Havanese are also intelligent and energetic. For many people with anxiety, they’re just the kind of dog they need.
Pomeranians are another small dog that wants nothing more than to show you love and support. Most Pomeranians are happiest when they’re following you around the house, no matter what you’re doing.
Pomeranians can be a bit wary of strangers, so make sure you know the background of the dog you’re thinking about getting. Provided they grow up in a loving home, there’s nothing stopping Pomeranians from loving everyone around them.
Yorkshire terriers (or Yorkies) are famous for having deep bonds with their owners. Like Pomeranians, expect a Yorkie to be like a second shadow, following you around the house no matter what you’re doing.
Yorkies are one of the most playful dog breeds. No matter what sort of day you’re having, there’s no doubt your companion will leave you with a smile on your face.
On account of their intelligence, energy levels, and gentle temperaments, border collies are among the most popular dog breeds in the world. If you’re someone looking for an energetic companion that loves to run around and play, this breed is right for you.
Compared to other dogs on this list, border collies are a bit more high maintenance. If you don’t have a lot of free time or are looking for a calm companion, a border collie might not be the right fit for you.
Greyhounds are among the most intuitive dog breeds. When they sense that you’re going through a rough patch, don’t be surprised to find your greyhound curled up next to you.
Unfortunately, many adult greyhounds carry emotional baggage from racing. If you’re after a soothing and emotionally stable companion, your best bet is to adopt a greyhound puppy.
With their warm faces, happy personalities, and unique colors, labradors have been a popular dog breed for decades. They’re also one of the most versatile and adaptable dogs, capable of filling a variety of roles.
Like other big dogs, they need a good amount of exercise, so make sure you can provide that before getting one.
Golden retrievers are one of the most popular service breeds, and for good reason. They’re gentle, calm, and incredibly loving.
As a long-haired dog, they’re also fluffy and soft. If you find touch is a soothing sensation to you, petting their fur might be just what you need.
Find the companion you need
While a canine companion may not always be able to clear away clinical anxiety or depression, they can help boost your mood when you’re feeling down.
If you have the space and time to commit to owning a dog, consider getting one of the ones on this list. All of the breeds mentioned are happy and loving!