This post was produced in partnership with Prospect Farms, Maev, and Throw Me A Bone as a part of our Mental Health Week Initiative. Join us on social @ProspectFarmsMaine and @meetmaev to learn more!

By Adam Light, Founder of Throw Me a Bone

Since the beginning of time, dogs have been humans’ best friends. Energetic, playful and silly, they are loyal companions who completely change the daily routines of the very fortunate people who open up their lives and homes to them.

As the co-founder of NYC’s Throw Me A Bone for the past 12 years, I’ve had the privilege of building a very personal pet care company that’s allowed me some unique insights into the relationships people have with their dogs, and the pure joy those dogs bring them—@Hudsonbegood being a perfect example of this.

We’ve also had some pretty high profile clients over the years, like Sting, and the honest/unconditional love that he would receive and show to his dogs, Compass and Squidgy, was pretty magical. I would see his guard completely drop and his body language open up when he interacted with his dogs. It was obvious to me that he was at his happiest and most relaxed when in the company of his two boys.

For this very reason, we’ve teamed up with Maev to continue our shared mission of giving our pets the best, all-natural wellness plan that we can. Why Maev? We both believe in giving our dogs the highest quality food and nutrients to keep them healthy so we can continue to experience the mental health benefits they bring into our world (and because we love them!).

Here are a few great mental and physical health reasons to bring home a new four-legged family member...

Dogs Can Make You Happier

Pet parents are less likely to be depressed, and, in fact, have higher levels of serotonin and dopamine than those without dogs, mainly due to the fact that dogs are calming and familiar companions that can lead to less stress and anxiety. Dogs are also natural conversation starters, which promotes social interaction even for shy pet parents. The more social interaction you have, the more likely you are to engage in fulfilling relationships with people that make you happy.

This reminds me of when I first met my (now) wife, at a Central Park dog run. If it wasn’t for her adorable Mini Aussie, Lilly, coming over to say hello to me, I don’t think we would have ever started our first conversation. Atta girl, Lilly!

All this helps boost mental responses and motivation if struggling to get out of bed or to lose those last few pounds (I know I can relate to this one!), leading to an overall sense of productivity and satisfaction. Plus, having a strong sense of purpose and a routine (which is often required for taking care of a dog) allows for stability that in turn helps fight mental illness.

Dogs Can Make You Healthier

Dogs are high-energy companions, love to play and need exercise. Pet parents get more activity in their day simply by keeping up with their dog’s lifestyle (ideally, a minimum of three 30-minute walks per day). According to the American Heart Association, pet parents are 54% more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than their non-pet parent counterparts. Playing with your pet also leads to a stronger immune system from being around pet fur and dander, and many pet parents see a decrease in blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, making them less at risk for heart disease.

A few years ago, we had a client that was going through a tough period of time in her life. Most days she wouldn’t leave her apartment, let alone change out of her pajamas. She put on quite a bit of weight and became increasingly depressed. I truly believe that if it weren’t for her two dogs, Potato and Chip, she would have never been able to fight her way out of that dark time of her life. They got her up and moving again, ultimately boosting her physical health and mental well-being.

The Magic of Dogs

Whether you’re taking your dog out for a walk or getting all snuggled up in bed, just having them around can help put your mind at ease, something that helps both your mental and physical health.

Prospect Farms and Maev products are created and specifically designed to help your dog feel their best, so they can spend all of their energy being your best friend! To celebrate, we’ve partnered to give away a $150 gift card to Maev, two of Prospect Farms Calming tinctures, and two of Prospect Farms Mobility tinctures for dogs (we will contact the winner to select the flavor and concentration that will work best for their dog). You can enter HERE.  Because as we say at Prospect Farms, "They comfort us. We comfort them."