5 Ways a Pet Can Be Good for Your Mental Health
Pets can often feel like members of the family, whether they’re a tiny critter in a cage or a big cuddly dog. It’s nice to come home to your pet and enjoy cuddles on the sofa, but many people don’t realise just how good a pet can be for their mental health. Here are some of the ways that pets can make your life better and less stressful, no matter their shape or size.
They Can Help People with Anxiety
When you think of dogs being helpers, you no doubt picture guide dogs for the blind or disabled. However, in recent years, dogs are being trained to help people with a wide range of conditions and invisible disabilities. For example, therapy dogs can help anxiety sufferers by calming them down if they feel panicked in public. Even if your dog isn’t trained in this way, even spending time with them has been shown to reduce blood pressure and help people feel less anxious.
They Get You Exercising
Dogs in particular can be good for people who have trouble motivating themselves to exercise. Certain dog breeds need more than two hours of exercise per day, whether it’s running around the park or taking a walk. Exercise is good for your mental health, so taking the dog out regularly not only keeps them happy, it keeps you happy too.
Caring for Pets Helps You with Your Own Self-Care
Sometimes, if your mental health has taken a hit, it can be hard to remember to take care of yourself. However, when you have a pet, certain jobs need to be done such as taking them to the groomers, going for check-ups at places like Heart and Paw veterinary, and cleaning out their cages. Doing these small tasks can then encourage you in your own self-care; for example, when you clean out their hutch, you might do a little gardening to make your outside more pleasant, or when you take them to get groomed, it’s a nice reminder that it’s time for your own haircut.
They Keep You Company
Even if you don’t live alone, there are times when you may feel you need companionship and unconditional love without the need to talk. Pets can be a great comfort as you can’t argue with them and they don’t answer back — they just give you lots of hugs and understanding.
They Can Help You Socialise with Other People
Dogs in particular can be helpful if you’re looking to make new friends. Take your dog to the park and you’ll no doubt come across other dog owners. Plus, it’s an easy way to start up a conversation. Even those with smaller pets can make new friends thanks to their shared interests. Many towns have groups for certain types of pet owners, especially more exotic and unusual animals, or you could even go to pet shows and meet new people.
Pets can be great for those who struggle with their mental health as they offer so much in exchange for so little, and there are many scientifically-proven reasons why they can keep you happy.