5 Ways Pets Improve Your Mental Health

Every pet parent knows without a doubt that a pet makes them happy. Aside from caring about the well-being of your pet, you may also want to see how a pet benefits you too! Did you know that America has a growing mental health crisis? Instead of pills and anti-depressants, some people may be wondering about a more natural and possibly more effective alternative – pets! Whether it’s a cat or dog waiting for you to come home from work, or maybe a horse in the stable, any pet will ensure unconditional love and acceptance. In addition to sticking by your side, pets have many benefits. These benefits can range from heart health to stress and anxiety.

1). They are good mood boosters

There is happiness that comes from just looking at your pet. Some studies show that making eye contact with your pet can release the feel-good hormone. The happiness hormone or love hormone is known as oxytocin. This hormone is known for its ability to elevate mood.

2). They help reduce stress

Playing and spending quality time with your pet reduces stress-related hormones. These benefits can be felt after just five minutes spent with your pet. This suggests that pets are very beneficial when it comes to mental health.

Playing with a cat or dog increases levels of dopamine and serotonin – hormones that relax and calm the nervous system. As you smile and laugh at your pet’s funny behavior, your happy hormone is stimulated and released, making you feel better.

Additionally, spending time with a friendly pet lowers cortisol, the stress-causing hormone, and increases oxytocin, naturally reducing stress. This makes animal-assisted therapy more beneficial. Petting a pet can also lower blood pressure and reduce the stress associated with the condition. Additionally, while pets can help reduce your stress, you can also help reduce your pet’s stress as well.

It is also believed that dogs can calm hyperactive children. One study involving stressed adults advised them to have a turtle, rabbit, or toy. However, lining the toy had no events, but stroking the rabbit or turtle reduced anxiety in these individuals. These benefits have been reported by individuals who do not like animals.

3). They make you feel needed

Pet parents feel more needed when they know they have a living creature that depends on them. Caring for a living being is good for mental health and gives a person a sense of purpose and meaning. For example, when you own a pet, you know that you can be the only person who can ensure good health and happiness.

You will always ensure that your pet is fed and lives in a good environment. You will also ensure that your pet is not lonely and in good condition. Your pet depends on you every day for anything. It makes you feel needed and you have to be physically and mentally sober to give your pet a good life.

4). They offer companionship

People with mental health problems feel lonely from time to time. This can be solved by adopting a pet. Having a pet at home means having someone around you all the time. Pet parents feel less lonely compared to people who don’t own any pets. Pets also connect you with other people. For example, most people may admire your beautiful dog and end up saying “hi” to you and complimenting your dog. This will make you find yourself talking to more people, making you feel less lonely.

5). They promote a healthy routine

Owning a pet means taking care of its needs every day. In addition to other needs, you need to set some time for feeding, exercise, and grooming. Having a daily schedule for your pet’s needs offers predictability and stability in life. Routines are very beneficial for people with depression and anxiety because they give them a sense of control. Children who take care of pets develop a sense of responsibility and can deal with different kinds of relationships in their lives.

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