At a time when the nation’s mental health is at an all-time low, you might be interested to know that pet ownership can be great for boosting your overall mental wellbeing. From combatting loneliness to reducing anxiety to fighting back against depression, keep reading to find out five ways that having a pet can benefit your mental health and that of your family.
1. To combat depression
If you are suffering from depression or low moods, owning a pet can help you in many different ways. Firstly, simply by sitting and stroking your pet, you will feel calmer and at ease. Plus, pet ownership gives you a sense of purpose for the day. You need to get up to feed your pet, take them for a walk, take them for routine check-ups at your local vet or Colonial Animal Hospital, and generally care for their needs and health. This can give you a sense of achievement and help you feel more valuable as a person.
2. To beat loneliness
In the last year, many people have had to experience long periods of loneliness, which can lead to a fear of socializing with others. If this is the case for you, a pet can help you to come out from your shell and meet like-minded people.
Whether you are taking your pooch for a daily walk, going to the vet’s for regular check-ups, or simply chatting to another pet owner at your local store, a pet offers many opportunities for you to meet new people and get out of the house.
Not to mention the fact that pets make great companions themselves.
3. To help children with ADHD
Research has shown that owning a pet can help children with ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Enabling them to take on tasks such as feeding, walking, and bathing can help your child to learn more about responsibility. Plus, if your child suffers from excess energy, the simple act of running around and playing with their pet will help to be calmer and more relaxed later in the day and during the night.
4. To alleviate anxiety
Anxiety is known to be the most common mental disorder in the United States, affecting over 30% of the population. Fortunately, if you suffer from this life-crippling disorder, owning a pet can help to relieve your symptoms and make you feel more in control of your condition.
As well as cats and dogs that are known for providing emotional support to people, you may be interested to know that there are several other animals that can also help to manage anxiety, including pigs, horses, and even snakes.
5. To lower stress levels
Although some stress is good for you, too much can have significantly detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health. However, people who own pets are proven to have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without a furry companion.
Furthermore, certain studies have even shown that dog ownership can help those who suffer from hypertension in as little as six months.