A dog's love and loyalty goes a long way. There aren’t many creatures, humans and animals alike that offer the same companionship and unconditional friendship that a dog has to offer. Not only are they excited to see us every time we return home, but studies are starting to show that dogs can even help us with stress, anxiety, and depression.

According to Harvard Medical School, just petting a dog can reduce the petter’s blood pressure and heart rate. Dogs also encourage more exercise which helps decrease blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease. A lower blood pressure and heart rate are associated to better mental health.

Dogs help us get out of the house to socialize more, schedule our day and create routine, and feel more purpose in life. Having a furry friend depend on you is a great feeling.

Large or small, black or brindle, a dog’s love is consistent no matter what kind of dog you own. Below are some more ways that dogs help fighting depression. Although dogs are awesome, if you feel like you are suffering from symptoms of depression, it’s advised to seek professional help.

Dogs fighting depression infographic