Dogs Are Your Best Friend & Medicine (if you have ADHD)

In the world of ADHD, where each day brings its own set of challenges, many seek unique ways to navigate life’s twists and turns. Beyond traditional treatments, there’s a furry alternative that goes beyond companionship – dogs. Yes, you read it right. Dogs may not just be your best friends; they could also be a form of medicine for those dealing with ADHD.

This article, written by an ADHD specialist, explores how our lovable canines can bring a sense of calm to the whirlwind of ADHD. Let’s check out the potential therapeutic effects that come with having a dog help you manage your ADHD.

8 reasons why dogs are good for people with ADHD

In the whirlwind of ADHD challenges, canine companionship offers more than just wagging tails and wet noses; it provides a consistent source of comfort, routine, and non-judgmental support that can significantly benefit individuals with ADD or ADHD. Here are the specific reasons why dogs can help someone with ADHD:

a person with adhd taking their dog for a walk

1. Routines and structure

Dogs are creatures of habit, and a dog will help you establish and maintain a daily routine. Their potty breaks and dinner time can provide ADHDers with more stability and predictability. This is especially helpful for those who really struggle with time blindness and time mismanagement.

2. Exercise and physical activities

Dogs need regular exercise, whether that’s a walk down the street or playing fetch in the backyard. And the need for regular exercise in dogs becomes a motivating factor for individuals with ADHD. For some ADHD brains, it may seem boring to get up, move around, and do some sort physical activity. But with a dog thrown in the mix, it may be more exciting! Walking your dog or playing with it can increase your activity level and improve your overall health.

3. Emotional regulation

People with ADHD often struggle with emotional dysregulation. The good news is that dogs serve as great emotional regulation teachers. Caring for a dog and observing its behavior can help adults and kids with ADHD develop skills to control their emotions.

4. Stress reduction and relaxation

Dog interaction is proven to reduce stress and promote relaxation in humans, and this can be especially true for kids, teens, and adults with ADD or ADHD. Whether you’re playing or you just have a dog by your side, anxiety and stress levels can significantly decrease.

a woman with adhd relieves her stress with her dog by her side

5. Improved social skills

Dogs can help us to improve our social skills and relationships. They are social facilitators, and they can assist people with ADHD in building friendships and relationships and improving their social skills. Dogs can be great conversation starters and attract attention, helping people with ADHD form lasting connections with others.

6. Better attention and focus

Caring and attending to a dog’s daily needs requires attention and focus. ADHDers can improve their concentration and attention by engaging in activities like training, playing and grooming dogs.

7. Emotional support and companionship

Dogs provide unconditional love, companionship and emotional support. A dog can be a comfort and security for people with ADHD, who may suffer from anxiety or rejection sensitivities.

8. Sensory stimulation and regulation

Dogs are a great way to provide sensory benefits to people with ADHD. This is especially true for those who have sensory processing disorders. Dogs can provide sensory stimulation and regulation through activities like cuddling, petting and interacting.

A Quick Note

Before taking the plunge into dog adoption, individuals with ADHD should carefully consider their personal preferences, lifestyle, and ability to meet the pet’s needs. This thoughtful approach ensures a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship between individuals and their canine companions.