World Mental Health Day was this past week (October 10th).  It got me thinking about how we can improve our mental health and stay connected with healthy people and activities.  Those of us with pets, know well the calm and happiness of spending time with a cat, dog or other pet we love.  Animals have been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on the physical, emotional and mental health of humans. It helps lower stress levels as well as blood pressure.

But what about those who do not have pets?  What is their stress buster?  Maybe, they/you might consider being a volunteer at a local animal shelter!

Volunteers have many important roles at our local humane society, and dog walking is a role that is a high need position with personal benefits for both the dog and walker.  It is a way to get out of the house on a regular basis, encourages people to be active (especially around the dogs), as well as the benefit of companionship that goes both ways.

  1. Meeting new people.Volunteering at an animal shelter widens your social network as you meet new people who share your passion to help animals.
  2. Increasing the likelihood dogs will be adopted out. Your efforts will help animals get ready to go to a new home. You may teach pets to become more socialized with people and care for them to improve their mental and physical health so they can leave the shelter sooner, thereby making room for new animals.
  3. Lifting your mood.Volunteering helps you gain a sense of purpose and accomplishment which can boost your mood and overall health.
  4. Engaging in mental and physical activities. Being a volunteer at a humane society keeps you active by assuming duties such as taking dogs out for walks, cleaning pet housing facilities, or completing administrative assignments and other mentally and physically challenging tasks.
  5. Dog walking is the best way to get exercise for both you and your canine companion.

Helping the dogs helps you decrease stress and feel better in so many ways!  Please consider volunteering as a dog walker at our local Pembina Valley Humane Society.  As a volunteer or many years, I highly recommend it!

Learn more about being a Volunteer here

Last modified: October 7, 2023