Posted on May 30, 2023, 1 p.m.
Deciding to include your dog in your travel plans inevitably means there will be a lot of extra hoops to jump through and obstacles to navigate during the planning process. However, all the added effort that goes into planning a puppy pilgrimage will be rewarded in the end, with this type of travel offering lots of unique benefits.
Not least, taking your hound on holiday will support your mental well-being during this time, and these positive effects could even last long after you return home. But what are the specific mental health benefits that many people experience when travelling with a dog? In this blog post, we explore three of the key advantages, to hopefully inspire you to add a furry plus-one to your traveling party.
Travelling can trigger heightened levels of anxiety for many people. Simply being in unfamiliar surroundings can be unsettling, while the thought of leaving home or the journey itself can be especially difficult for others. Young children in particular may feel anxious about leaving home, but bringing the whole family together – pooch included – can help them to relax and get more from this special time.
Lots of dog owners may also worry about leaving their canines behind when going away on holiday. Even if you leave them with a family member or put them in a kennel for the duration of your trip, you may still worry that you can’t be there to cater for them yourself. Bringing them along on your adventures mitigates this concern entirely, helping to put your mind at ease and allowing you to fully lean into the holiday lifestyle.
Companionship for solo travelers
There are so many benefits to solo travel, but it can at times feel quite isolating. There may be times when you miss home or wish you had a familiar face to spend time with. Well, travelling with a dog will alleviate these concerns, with your canine companion able to keep you company on your adventures. As well as boosting the ‘fun’ element of your escape, having a dog by your side can be reassuring in a safety sense. They can instantly provide an extra level of security, which is valuable for solo travellers who may be concerned about being on their own in a new place.
It may not be the first reason that springs to mind as to why you may take your dog on holiday, but they can be great at giving your self-esteem a boost, to make your trips even more enjoyable. Dogs can encourage travellers to push their own boundaries and explore beyond their comfort zones, potentially visiting parts of the destination they otherwise may have missed off their itinerary. Having this confidence to push your travelling boundaries can last long after you return home, and encourage you to try new things going forward.
What’s more, dogs are a wonderful ice breaker when making new friends as they can help to spark conversations where perhaps you may struggle to find common ground. This allows you to have more meaningful interactions and build stronger connections with both local people and fellow travellers. Again, being able to have these conversations and form social bonds can have a hugely positive effect on your mental well-being, with human interaction being one of the core pillars of good mental health.
This article was written for WHN by Hannah Williams who is a consultant, researcher, blogger, and health advocate as well as a media and digital content creator.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
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