Why Every ADHDer Needs a Doggo in Their Life
Note: In this post, all puppers and doggos will be referred to as doggos. This is for the sake of simplicity. Apologies to any puppers to whom this is offensive. If you are unfamiliar with the difference between puppers and doggos click here.
ADHD expert, Dr. Edward M. Hallowell has, on numerous occasions, proclaimed his belief that kids should be given a doggo when they receive an ADHD diagnosis. Dog-loving ADHDers rejoice!
And, in honor of my dog Charlie's 14th birthday on September 15 (a collage of his pictures over the past 14 years can be found in this post's featured image), I present to you some reasons why ADHDers need a doggo in their life.
ADHDers can struggle with making friends and maintaining friendships. This can leave us feeling lonely and rejected. When there is a doggo in an ADHDers life, they will have a companion who will remain heckin' loyal and is willing to be their friend even if no one else will.
Dr. Hallowell is a big proponent of living a connected life. It is one of his keys for maintaining a happy, healthy life when you have ADHD (or even when you do not have ADHD). “Creating a connected life is the key to happiness and health,” he writes in his book Delivered from Distraction. One area he mentions that an ADHDer can find a connection is a doggo. He often jokes about writing a perscription for a doggo.
When I got my doggo back in February of 2005, my step-sister reminded me of the old phrase, "If your dog is fat, you need more exercise. Doggos are happier, healthier, and more well-behaved when they have been adequately exercised. This has the added benefit of providing you with a good heckin' amount of exercise as well.
Peace of Mind
I have found that my daily walk with Charlie provides me with a time to relax and clear my head. There have even been times where I took him for a walk because I was stressed or angry. Our walks bring me peace of mind.
Additionally, sometimes doggos can sense when we are sad. When I came home from the emergency room the day my grandmother died, I collapsed on the couch and began silently crying into a pillow. Charlie walked over to me and sat nicely, so I could pet him. This is not the only time he instinctively knew I needed him. He has been there for me many times throughout the years.
Taking care of a doggo is a heckin' lot of responsibility. They need to be fed, walked, groomed, and let out to go potty several times per day. ADHDers can sometimes struggle with responsibilities. A doggo can help ADHDers, especially kids with ADHD, learn responsibility. It does not take many in-house accidents for an ADHDer to realize it is better to make sure their doggo gets outside enough than to hyperfocus on something stupid now and have to clean up a mess later.