The health and mood boosting benefits of pets: Pets really do have some powerful health benefits, which can be both mental and physical. Caring for a cat, dog or any other animal can help relieve depression and anxiety, lower stress levels and also improve your heart health.
This blog explains to you the benefits of looking after a pet for your mental and physical well-being.
The Benefits of Pets
Pets, especially dogs and cats can reduce our stress, anxiety and depression, help to reduce loneliness as well as encourage us to be more active, improving our cardiovascular activity. Not only can pets help adults, they can also really help with children, making them feel more secure, safe and active in the long run. Pets can also provide long-lasting companionship for those older adults too, adding joy and unconditional love to your life.
How can pets improve your health?
When we are talking about the health benefits of pets, we don’t always just mean cats and dogs. A rabbit is still an ideal pet and can provide you with many health and mood boosting benefits. Studies have shown that people who own pets are less likely to suffer from depression than those without. Playing with a dog or a cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which keeps you calm and relaxed. Experts say that people with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those that choose not to. See, there’s just no reason to say no now, right?
Pets have therapeutic effects because they fulfil basic human needs for touch, stroking or hugging an animal can calm and soothe you when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet is just like no other.
How can a pet change your lifestyle?
You’re probably thinking, how can one little animal running around the house help change your lifestyle completely? Here are 5 different ways pets can give your wellbeing a boost:
Routine: Pets require a lot of attention and care, their routine is just as important as yours is. Having a consistent time you feed and walk them can keep them balanced and calm, just like it will for you too. No matter how you feel, whether you’re stressed, anxious or tired, you always know you have that routine to stick to. Fresh air does you good. Reduce Anxiety: Dogs and cats can often provide comfort and ease when in anxious situations. They never think too far into the future, and live in the moment – they can help you to become more mindful and appreciate the little things in life, taking your focus off the anxiety.
Socialising: If you don’t socialise too much at the moment, you sure will with a pet, cats and dogs especially. Whether you’re walking your dog through the park, on a hike, or just to the local pet shop, you’ll no doubt start creating friendships and relationships with people that have something in common with you. Or, if you have a super cute puppy, you’ll get stopped every 5 minutes on dog walks!
Companionship: Companionship can help to prevent illnesses and even add years onto your life. Caring for a companion can help you feel wanted and like you’re needed. If you live alone this could really boost your mood. What’s better than having a bad day and your pet there to greet you at the door?
Exercise: Some animals require a lot of walking, but this could be great for you. Increasing your exercise levels is not only beneficial for your mental wellbeing, but also helps with physical health too. Walks, hikes and runs with your pet are all very rewarding ways to keep healthy – they’ll also love you for it.
If you’re thinking about adding a pet to your family, and you think a puppy might be for you, 365 Vet has some great advice on puppy training. Equally, there are other alternatives to pet ownership, like volunteering at a dog rescue or offering to walk a neighbour’s dog.