Most people equate those who have cats to a crazy cat lady, particularly if they love their cat more than people. But have you ever thought that having a pet might be keeping that person from completely losing their marbles?
Pets are known to help people with their mental health problems. It’s why a doctor can sign a pet off as a comfort/therapy animal, because they really do have therapeutic benefits – whether you realize it or not.
Petting your fur baby feels good. When you’re cuddled up with your pet on the couch, petting them, it can be hard to leave because it makes you happy. This action helps lower blood pressure and helps your body release serotonin, a relaxation hormone. Plus, it also cuts down on stress hormones like cortisol.
An added benefit is that this also soothes your pet. So keep calm and pet on.
Pets, dogs, in particular, can help people who have a hard time socializing connect with others. It’s easier to start a conversation with someone about yours or their dog then if they didn’t have one. A dog is almost a forced social experience because dogs do need to be socialized and walked, so when their owners take them for walks or to the dog park, there are many opportunities for socializing with other people as well.
Not to mention taking your pet for a checkup to a professional like Sunnyside Veterinary Clinic. Vet visits are social interactions too.
Sense of Purpose
Being a pet owner generally makes people happier. This is often because it creates a sense of purpose, a reason to get up each day. As humans, we need something that motivates our sense of responsibility, and having a pet can do just that. They need to be taken care of, but more than that, you want to take care of them because they are another member of your family.
A pet loves you unconditionally and is there when you need them. If you need to talk, they are there to listen, even if they can’t actively participate in the conversation. And as mentioned, petting your animal will help calm you and boost your mood. Animals take you away from yourself and put your focus towards helping them and being productive. Its a great opportunity to help your mental health.
Pets can definitely help you achieve a more active lifestyle which has its own list of benefits. Dogs need to get outside and play and release energy, and the pet owner is responsible for that. Even a playful kitten can help you become more active as you let it chase you around the house or play tug-of-war with a string.
Pets also make at-home exercise more fun and interesting. Have you ever tried doing yoga with your dog?
Service animals can help people with disabilities to be more independent. It’s difficult to need to rely on other people all the time, but having a pet can help with that. Service dogs can help the blind find their way around easier, they can provide support to people with Parkinson’s disease, and a comfort animal can prevent the need for regular therapy sessions with a counselor.
Pets provide so many benefits to us that we don’t even realize. What does your pet help you with?