Pet Corner - For the love and health of your beloved pets

We all know someone who suffers from anxiety. Many people suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It’s well known that dogs are trained to be both service and therapy companions. It’s helpful to know why some dogs have such a calming, soothing effect on humans. Hormones play a huge role – much like human to human bonding, the hormone oxytocin is released when we are affectionate with our dogs. Their oxytocin is released too, so it’s a two-way street in the soothing love department. Even so, some dog breeds are better suited to reducing anxiety in humans than others. So which breeds are most likely to soothe and comfort us when we’re feeling anxious? Let’s explore.

1.) Pugs – these little guys are cute, cuddly, friendly, and loving. Many small dogs are good for anxiety mainly because of the physical proximity humans have with them. We tend to pick up small dogs a lot, and to cuddle and even sleep with them. The warmth and comfort that far too many humans lack when it comes to giving these gifts to one another are not a problem for dogs. They love and accept us, warts and all. 

2.) Standard Poodles – these dogs are smart, friendly, lovable companions who also come with an allergy-free guarantee. They don’t shed, so they’re the best bet if you want them on the furniture, including your bed. 

3.) Labrador Retrievers – of course it’s no surprise that these laid back dogs are on the list. They are very loyal, warm, eager to please, and are one of the most relaxed, laid-back dogs on the planet. If you get uptight around a Lab, you need more than a dog for your anxiety. 

4.) Golden Retrievers – these cuddly, fluffy fur babies are one of the happiest, caring, eager-to-please dogs. They love attention – both giving it and getting it. They can be very active but they’re also incredibly cuddly, comforting, and highly intelligent. They are the most popular breed for people with physical disabilities because they are also very trustworthy. They won’t steer you into a tree, nor will they run away with the ball just when you need to sit down. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch, but once you explore a little more, you’ll find a dog that suits your personality and temperament. Remember, if you have anxiety you won’t want to get a high energy dog that requires lots of attention. That being said, all dogs benefit from proper training. The goal is to pick a dog that is harmonious to your life and lifestyle.

One of the most important factors in getting a dog is the financial ability to properly care for him/her. Dogs give us so much love, attention, devotion, and loyalty. The very least we can give them back is the financial stability to care for them as best we can. 

I hope you enjoyed this article. Next week’s article we’ll explore the best dog breeds for people with depression. 

Catherine Howland is a professional pet sitter based in Calais. For more information please visit