The Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
For every pet owner, their pet is like their family member, whether they have a dog, cat, or another animal. Pet owners know very well how joyous it is to share their life with animals. However, if we talk about pets, the primary one that hits our mind is a dog. From all over the world, most people who own a pet prefer to pet a dog. And undoubtedly, dogs are the most loving and adorable creatures on earth. Though, not only dogs but all the other pets are precious to their owners.
Like small children, pets are cuddly tiny little creatures who roam in the house around their owners. We all know some expected benefits of owning a pet, such as protecting you and your family from strangers, they are protective about small children, and so on. However, many of us remain unaware with the fact that pets also provide physical and mental well-being. It has recently studied the benefits of human-animal connection scientifically.
Pets have evolved to become adapted to humans and our behavior and emotions. Dogs, for example, are capable of understanding many of the words humans use. But dogs are even better at interpreting the tone of the human voice, gestures, and body language. And like any other good human, a loyal dog will look into your eyes to judge your emotional mind and will try to understand what you are thinking and feeling.
Pets, specifically dogs and cats, can provide many health benefits to their owners. The pets can help to reduce anxiety, stress, loneliness, and depression. Along with mental benefits, pets can also provide physical well-being by encouraging exercise and playfulness, improving cardiovascular health. They also provide valuable companionship with older adults. But above all these, pets can add real happiness and unconditional love to your life.
How Can Pets Impact Your Health?
People with pets have experienced mental and physical health benefits, but that doesn’t mean a pet needs to be a dog or a cat. Even watching a fish in the aquarium can help to reduce tension and lower the pulse rate.
However, some studies have concluded the following-
● Those people who have pets are less likely to feel depressed than those who do not have.
● Playing with a pet, either cat or dog, helps lift serotonin and dopamine levels, calming and relaxing.
● Heart patients are likely to live longer with pets as compared to those without a pet.
● Pet owners can have a lower level of triglyceride and cholesterol level than those who do not own a pet.
● People over the age of 65 have to make fewer visits to their doctor if they own a pet.
● People having pets have a lower level of blood pressure. When people with borderline hypertension adopt a dog, it is also studied that their blood pressure declines significantly.
The primary reasons for these effects are that pets fulfill the essential human touch we need. Many people get affectionate towards a dog for the first time, while others might need some time, but they get close to a dog and create a bond. When you stroke, hug or touch an animal, you get calm and relaxed, reducing your stress and anxiety. The company of a pet can also prevent loneliness, which boosts your mood and releases depression.
The Mental Benefits of Owning a Pet:
When you are struggling with any mental illness, adopting a healthy lifestyle is necessary to ease depression and anxiety. Additionally, it can help you even more from fighting and getting back to everyday life when you have a pet with you. Not only mentally but pets can also help you to stay active physically.
Discussed below are some of the mental and physical benefits of owning a pet-
● Increase in exercise-
When you take a dog for long walks, hike, and run regularly is a rewarding way to stay healthy and fit. Studies have suggested that dog owners are likely to fulfill their daily exercise requirements with their pets. These regular routines will strengthen the bond between you and your dog and eliminate the behavior problems in dogs and maintain the health of you and your pet.
● Provides companionship-
Companionship can help to prevent illness and can certainly add years to your life. While you are alone and isolated, you can feel depressed. No matter whether you have a human or animal company, the only thing matters here is that you are not alone. However, the company of an animal can provide more benefits to you. When you care for an animal, it can help make you feel needed and wanted and focus away from your problems. Mostly dog and cat owners talk to their pets, while some even use them to work through their troubles.
● Pets help you to get socialize-
Pets can be a great source to get friendly with new people. They can help you to meet new people and start a new friendship. You might have seen that every dog owner frequently stops and talks to each other on walks. However, pet owners can also meet new people in pet stores and training classes.
● Pets reduce anxiety-
The company of a pet can offer comfort, ease, and help to prevent anxiety. Pets also build strong confidence among those who get anxious about going out. Animals tend to live in the moment, like humans; they do not worry about yesterday or tomorrow. So, they can help you to become more mindful.
● Adding routine to your life-
Many pets, particularly dogs, need proper feeding and exercise, and as an owner, it is your responsibility to look after your dog’s daily routine. If we talk about their feeding, some new owners cannot be aware of what should be included in a dog’s meal, and they might wonder can dogs have lamb bones. Also, dogs need a regular walk and exercise to release their energy. So, when you look after your canine’s routine, you also develop a habit. Whether you are tired, upset, depressed, or stressed, one heartrending look from your dog can make you do everything happily.
● Pets provide sensory stress relief-
Touch and movement are the two ways that can help to manage stress quickly. So, stroking or hugging a dog, cat, or other pet can lower blood pressure and feel calm and stress-free.
Most people suffer from mental health issues once in their life, but with pets struggling with it can be more comfortable. We have discussed how pets can bring significant changes to your physical and mental health. So, if you already had a pet start observing the difference in your mental and physical health. But if you don’t own a pet, think of adopting a pet to have a great company that offers good health and well-being.
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