Can Dogs Provide Mental Health Therapy in New Zealand?

Are you looking for a way to improve your mental health? Dogs can be an excellent source of support and can provide a wealth of therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that having a pet, particularly a dog, can help reduce stress, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even improve your overall mood.

In New Zealand, there are a number of services that offer dog therapy, which can be a great way to make the most of the therapeutic benefits of having a dog. This article will explore the mental health benefits of pet therapy, the research about dogs and mental health, and the benefits of dog therapy in New Zealand.

Can Dogs Provide Mental Health Therapy?

Dogs can provide mental health therapy! Dogs are incredibly loyal and loving animals, making them great companions for people in need of emotional support. Animal-assisted therapy is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand, and studies suggest that it can be beneficial in treating mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Dogs can provide companionship, comfort, and unconditional love to people who are struggling with mental health issues, and this can be an effective way of managing symptoms. Being around dogs can also increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, leading to improved mood and wellbeing. So if you’re looking for a companion to help you through tough times, a dog could be the perfect fit!


When it comes to the research on mental health and its connection to dogs, it is truly impressive. Studies have shown that having a pet can significantly reduce stress, depression and anxiety levels. Research has also shown that having a dog can provide a strong source of emotional support and comfort as well.

This support can be especially beneficial for people who are dealing with mental health issues, such as those with depression or anxiety. The research in New Zealand is especially promising when it comes to the benefits of dog therapy.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has been found to be an effective way to help people with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. This form of therapy is carried out by licensed professionals and is designed to improve well-being, reduce stress and promote positive emotions.

It is important to note that the benefits of dog therapy can go beyond simply providing emotional support. Dogs can also help to foster a sense of belonging, as well as providing positive distraction.

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This can be especially helpful for those suffering from mental health issues, as it can help them to become more engaged with their surroundings and the people in it. Dog therapy can make a profound impact on the lives of those struggling with mental health issues in New Zealand.

Mental Health Benefits of Pets

Having a pet can be beneficial to your mental health in so many ways. From reducing stress and improving mood, to providing companionship and just being there for you when you need it, pets can be incredibly beneficial for your mental wellbeing.

Studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of depression. Having a pet can help you to become more connected with nature and with your community. When it comes to dog therapy, there are a few things to consider.

For one, dogs can provide a sense of comfort and security, making it easier to approach issues that might otherwise be difficult to discuss.

They can also act as a distraction, helping to shift focus away from issues that are otherwise overwhelming. Dogs can be trained to provide specific therapeutic responses that could be helpful for managing mental health conditions.

In New Zealand, many organisations offer animal-assisted therapy and there is a growing market for this type of therapy. The benefits of a dog as a therapy animal are many; from providing companionship and distraction, to aiding in developing trust, and offering comfort and connection. Dog therapy can also help to reduce anxiety and provide a sense of safety and security, and can even help to improve communication, self-esteem and social skills. All of these are incredibly beneficial for anyone struggling with mental health difficulties.

What Does the Research Say About Dogs and Mental Health?

Recent research has found that humans and dogs have a special bond which can have mental health benefits for both. A dog’s presence can reduce stress levels, contribute to better mood and a decrease in feelings of loneliness. Having a dog can help people cope with trauma, such as PTSD, and can even reduce the risk of depression.

Studies have also found that people who own a pet experience higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. Dogs are more likely to be more engaged with their owners compared to other pets, meaning people can feel more connected and supported when interacting with their pets.

Dogs can also provide a sense of security and comfort, which can be extremely important for those dealing with mental health issues. Studies have shown that pet owners have a higher sense of purpose and meaning in their lives than those who don’t have a pet. It’s clear that having a dog can greatly improve your mental health.

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The Benefits of Dog Therapy in New Zealand

Dog therapy is an incredibly powerful and beneficial tool for individuals dealing with mental health issues in New Zealand. Studies have shown that having an animal friend around can help people to cope with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Not only do dogs provide companionship and comfort, but they can also offer therapeutic benefits.

Dog therapy can help individuals to improve their mood, decrease stress, and even reduce symptoms of mental illness. When it comes to dog therapy in New Zealand, there are some key benefits to consider.

Animal-assisted therapy can help people to practice self-care, build relationships, and learn how to manage their emotions. Dogs also provide unconditional love, acceptance, and support that is often lacking in a person’s life.

Dog therapy can also help individuals build self-awareness and insight into their feelings, allowing them to better understand their mental health. Dog therapy can be a powerful tool to help individuals cope with mental health issues and live a better life.

Animal-Assisted Therapy in New Zealand

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an effective form of therapy in New Zealand that uses animals as part of the therapeutic process. Studies have shown that AAT can help reduce anxiety, depression, and loneliness. In particular, can provide a calming presence that can help people feel more relaxed and secure.

In New Zealand, there are several organizations that offer dog therapy services, such as the New Zealand Companion Animal Association.

AAT can be particularly helpful for those who have difficulty expressing their emotions. Dogs can provide a non-judgmental, calming presence that can help people process difficult feelings and better express themselves.

Dogs can provide comfort and companionship that can help those suffering from mental health issues to feel less isolated and more connected to their community. When considering whether or not to pursue AAT in New Zealand, it is important to understand that dog therapy is not always appropriate for everyone. It is essential to discuss any concerns with a qualified therapist before beginning a session. With the right support, AAT can be an effective way of managing mental health issues and improving one’s quality of life.

Reasons Why Dog Therapy is Effective in New Zealand

Dog therapy can be an effective way to help improve mental health in New Zealanders. In New Zealand, Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is increasingly being used to help those suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Dogs provide companionship, unconditional love and emotional support, which can help to improve psychological wellbeing. Interacting with a therapy dog can also help to reduce stress levels, as people feel more relaxed when in the presence of a dog. Dogs can provide an outlet for people to express their emotions and help to reduce feelings of isolation.

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Dogs also provide an opportunity for people to be active, as walking and playing with them helps to get people out of their own heads and into the present moment. Dogs are also very therapeutic to be around, as they can provide unconditional love, comfort and companionship, which can help to bring joy into people’s lives.


Dog therapy can be a powerful tool to help treat mental health issues in New Zealand. Animal-assisted therapy, when conducted by a qualified practitioner, can provide a safe, supportive and non-threatening environment for those struggling with their mental health.

This kind of therapy is especially beneficial for those with anxiety, depression, trauma and PTSD. Dogs are incredibly intuitive and compassionate, providing comfort and understanding to those who need it. Through activities such as grooming, playing fetch and walks, dog therapy helps to reduce stress, improves mood and increases self-confidence.

It is important to remember that dog therapy should only be used alongside other therapies for a holistic approach to mental health treatment.

The therapist and the patient must establish a trusting and positive relationship in order to ensure the best care. Dog therapy can be the perfect complement to treatment plans focusing on talk therapy, medication and lifestyle changes. Dog therapy has the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of those living with mental health issues in New Zealand.

Megan Turner

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