pets and Mental Health

How Pets Help with Mental Health

We all know that every additional member of the family brings more happiness and joy to the house, and having a little four-legged friend is no different. A lot of families have pets that are embraced and loved and, in return, pets aid us not only when our physical health is concerned, but also mental. So, if you’re debating over getting a pet, let’s see what all the mental health benefits a pet can bring to you and your family are:

 

Stress-reliefStress-relief

Pets have the ability to calm us down when we are feeling upset. They give us a sense of comfort and security which helps us lower stress and blood pressure. It has actually been recorded that people who suffered heart attacks and have pets have seen improvements more than those without pets. This is also why therapy dogs are often brought into the courtrooms to help victims relax and testify. It is a great way to help anyone in your family who has problems with high pressure or stress, as well as to give kids an outlet to deal with stressful situations.

 

Depression

Depression is a serious condition which affects people in a number of different ways. Not only do pets help us calm down but they can also get us to take care of ourselves. How? It’ actually quite simple. People who suffer from depression often fail to take care of themselves, neglecting their basic needs. However, when you have a pet that you are responsible for, you simply have to take care of them, which will get you into a routine of doing some basic tasks both for you and your pet. Just like you have to choose the best pet supplies, you need to buy quality food for yourself. When you have to take them out for a walk, you are also getting some exercise. When they want to play, you are actually playing as well, even if you’re doing it “for them”. By making you get up and tend to them, they are actually pulling you out of the ditch of depression and helping you get back on your feet.

 

LonelinessLoneliness

People are lonelier now than ever before. We lead such busy lifestyles we rarely manage to spend some time with the people we love. Pets help with the feeling of loneliness in more ways than one. Firstly, they are there for us. No matter what you do or how you are feeling, your pet will always be there for you to make you feel like you have someone on your side. Secondly, when you are taking your pet for a walk, or taking them into doggy parks to play and generally spending time with them, you will meet like-minded people who also love their pets. It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to strike up a conversation and meet new people. There is also some research that shows that people who walk around with their pets have a better chance of getting the number of someones they are interested in. Simply: your pet can be your best wingman.

As if we need any reason to actually want a pet, they are great friends and having a pet is something we should all experience at least once in our lives. Kids with pets learn compassion and responsibility, while the elderly benefit from not being alone and having a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Pets can really make a big difference in your life, but we must also remember that they are a responsibility, so if you are not 100% sure you can take care of them, you should perhaps get shared custody of a pet or visit a local shelter on a regular basis to get all the love without the responsibility.

image credit: pexels.com

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