10 Ways Pets Support Mental Health

The bonds between humans and animals are powerful. And the positive correlation between pets and mental health is undeniable.No matter how old we are, everyone finds joy in their pets. That’s why It is no surprise that studies in pets have shown that owning a pet has benefits on mental and physical health.

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing says that “There are plenty of scientific studies that have proven owning a pet can be good for your physical and mental health.”
They offer companionship

Our pets give us the company we need when we can’t get out to see other people. They’re there to talk to and comfort us, no matter what. Isolation is never great for mental health, and having a pet to stop you from being lonely is a great way to combat that.

By making us more physically active

If you have a dog, you are more likely to be active. Taking care of dogs requires a lot of effort. Dogs need to be walked and they love to play. If you have a dog, you will spend a couple of hours every day walking or playing with them. Dogs love to be outside with you. All those outdoor excursions are going to do wonders for your mental health.

By boosting our self confidence

Pets can be great listeners, offer unconditional love and won’t criticise you. This can help your self-confidence, especially if you feel isolated or misunderstood. People find that it helps to vocalise their problems and having a comforting presence in the room will do wonders for your mental health.

They’re a reason to get up in the morning

Being responsible for, and looking after something other than ourselves can be all the motivation we need. It gives us something to focus on and allows us to push through the day. Taking care of a pet gives a lot of us purpose and can be a big help in getting us up to crack on with the day.

They reduce stress

Some pets can be calming. in fact, specially trained dogs are used as therapy dogs to help people or as Recovery Assistance Dogs. Owners often find their pet helps to calm them, whether it’s by talking to them or giving them a fuss.

Pets providing sensory stress relief

Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. Stroking a dog or cat has the benefit of calming you down and making you feel less lonely. Lonely people often miss the sense of warmth that comes from being isolated. That’s why petting your cat or dog brings so much relief.

They help us develop good habits

Feeding, exercising and caring for a pet can help you keep to a daily routine. This can help you feel more grounded and focused. It can also give your day purpose and a sense of achievement. Over time, this constant routine will develop into some good habits, like waking up early, going on lots of walks and eating at the right time.

They help us meet new people

Dogs make it easier to meet new people. They get you out of the house every day, normally at the same times which allows you to see the same people at the same time. Having that sense of familiarity with the people around you means that taking the next step to talking to them is much easier. Yet, more often than not, people will approach you and your dog. Oftentimes they will ask what breed they are, how old they are and if they can pet your dog. All these are great conversation starters that can lead to more fulfilling conversations.

They need us too

We owe it to our pets to take care of them as well as we can and this includes providing for all their needs. Taking care of a pet can make us feel needed. That’s why so many people make sure they are doing everything they can to give their pets a comfortable life. This sense of purpose can reduce depression and loneliness.

By bringing us happiness everyday

Unconditional love brings happiness to us all. If you have a dog, the way they react when you come home triggers the love and support most of us want and need. All the other benefits of being more active, meeting more people and always having a companion ensures that we have more happiness in our lives.

Find out more about PDSA Pet Insurance.

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