Did you know that there are many mental health benefits to owning a pet? There is plenty of evidence that living with animals can improve your mental health.
After reading these reasons, you may be surprised at how much having a furry companion can improve your life!
Pets offer unconditional love – love that is not dependent on an emotional state or the way you are feeling, but simply just “is.”
Pets are always there for us with appreciation and never judge.
Having a pet can help reduce stress as pets give us affectionate support, which is free of expectations.
For example, birds are known for being extremely affectionate pets, constantly preening and grooming their beloved humans.
Not to mention their singing, which has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
According to the bird enthusiasts at https://feedsandseeds.com/, the best thing you can do to give back this care is to get them some quality food.
Top it off with a few toys and a cage to play in and you got yourself an awesome friend.
On the other hand, you can provide food to the birds outside and you will have multiple free friends that will sing for you all day long.
Comfort and Companionship
Pets provide companionship – they are always there waiting to spend time with us.
Pets don’t judge or criticize us; they simply want our attention no matter what.
This is why pets are often referred to as “companion animals.”
They can be there for you through thick and thin!
For example, some studies have found that dogs tend to offer support when it’s socially appropriate, for example, by providing affection during positive social encounters.
Other studies show that dogs offer support when their owners are experiencing difficult or stressful events by being more attentive to the signs of their distress and acting less attentive when their owner is not distressed.
Pets can act as a social bridge to connect people with other people in times of need – they are especially helpful if you are feeling socially isolated.
Pets have been known to help individuals build connections with others through walking together, sharing treats, etc…
But some pets even improve our health further by becoming “social catalysts” – animals that encourage us to go beyond existing social networks and initiate new ones.
They can also be good conversation starters!
For example, pet owners were much more likely to engage in conversations with people than those who didn’t own pets.
Pets can also be used as a tool to increase social interactions and strengthen existing relationships – such as bringing your dog to the park or having friends over for dinner and drinks.
This will help reduce feelings of isolation and provide you with opportunities for meaningful connections with others.
Being a part of a caring and loving relationship has been proven to improve physical health, especially for those who are living alone.
Pets have been known to reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and triglyceride levels, which is great news if you’re looking for ways on how to reduce your risk of heart disease!
For example, studies have found that people with pets had lower triglyceride levels.
Another study involved more than 3,500 individuals over the age of 65 who suffered from heart failure and atrial fibrillation.
The results showed that those with a pet had lower mortality rates, fewer hospitalizations, and were less likely to suffer another episode of heart failure or for their condition to worsen compared to those without a pet.
Pets are great tools for practicing empathy – they are “emotional sponges.”
They can help us practice self-compassion by helping us understand our emotional needs and how we interact with them under various circumstances.
For example, one study that children who owned dogs behaved better and were more likely to show empathy in stressful situations.
Pets can also provide emotional support for people living with mental illness by providing companionship and reducing feelings of loneliness or depression.
So, children who had strong relationships with their pets displayed better self-esteem and adjusted well at school when compared to those without a pet.
The same goes for adults; having a dog reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is great news for individuals diagnosed with mental illness!
Companion animals can provide much-needed structure and routine in an individual’s life, especially when they may otherwise struggle to get up and engage in social interactions during the day due to symptoms such as apathy or lethargy.
Purpose and Belongingness
There are few things more rewarding than taking care of another living being.
Watching them grow, having them learn your habits and preferences, teaching them how to play fetch, or rolling over – becoming a pet owner will feel like you’re giving an animal the love they deserve while simultaneously providing you with some much-needed purpose in life!
Pets can also provide people with a sense of belongingness, especially when other sources are no longer available.
For example, it was found that older women living in care homes who had pets were less likely to become depressed compared to those without.
This may be because pets help reduce feelings of loneliness and allow individuals to feel like they’re still connected to their previous life – which is important for maintaining mental health!
Finally, studies have shown that caring for an animal has been associated with reduced depression among adults or the elderly who did not live alone or have children.
Finally, pets can also have neurological benefits by acting as “brain builders” thanks to their ability to provide cognitive stimulation.
Like humans, animals need to think and problem-solve to fulfill their basic needs.
They also learn by exploration, social interactions, playtime with other pets, etc.
Therefore, by providing them with the proper care, you can help contribute to their cognitive development and mental well-being as well as yours.
Pets can be a great way to improve your mental health by providing you with unconditional love, companionship, and social support.
Pets also help reduce stress and anxiety, act as an “emotional buffer” during stressful life events, provide people with a sense of purpose and belongingness, have neurological benefits that include acting as “brain builders”, or offer cognitive stimulation for the owner.
If you’re considering becoming a pet owner but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, consider these 7 ways pets will benefit your mental health before making up your mind!
Saturday 22nd of January 2022
Thanks for the wonderful post! Pets definitely help your mental health. It keeps you moving. Having the responsibility of feeding, walking, etc. is good. And they can feel if your depressed, and can be extra cuddly.
Thursday 20th of January 2022
My girl helps me every day!