Modern medicine has a rich arsenal of powerful medications to treat depression. But for people with mild or even moderate depression, few drugs can be as effective as an age-old remedy – getting a puppy. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Unconditional Love. Your relationships with your family and friends may be complicated. You significant other may hurt your feelings or get on your nerves. Your kids may grow distant. But your dog is always here for you. He or she will always love you just for yourself, no matter what
  2. Physical Touch. It is known that petting a dog has a naturally calming effect. Studies have proven that stroking your pet can also improve your mood, relieve stress, and even lower blood pressure
  3. Exercise and Routine. For depressed people, getting out of bed in the morning could be a struggle. But your dog will have none of it. His or her natural routine – waking you in the morning, asking for food, bringing you along for a walk – will help you stay on track
  4. Social Interaction. Depressed people often find themselves in social isolation. But pets are natural icebreakers. Conversations are starting easily in the neighborhood doggie park. There is nothing more exciting for dog owners than sharing silly stories about their furry friends
  5. Smiles and Laughter. Laughter is a rare commodity for depressed people. Yet watching your companion do very silly and cute things – which they will do inevitably — will bring smiles and laughter back in your life!

As opposed to medications, puppies don’t have side effects. True, some people are allergic to fur, but there are some hypo-allergic breeds, for instance, poodles that help avoid this problem.

Needless to say, serious health conditions, including depression, require medical attention. There is no substitute for regular medical diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment. The good news is that several medications are available to treat depression and more compounds are in development pipeline. And, insofar as we know, none has a negative interaction with puppies!  

To learn more about BCT and about participating in the studies we conduct, please visit us at Or call Greta or Julie to arrange a date with our BCT dog, Dandy The Poodle.