I am a die-hard animal lover.
I mean who wouldn’t be obsessed with this face?
In fact, we got our new puppy to help with my mental health. I’m still in therapy and on medication, but I cannot begin to express how much Sammy, the puppy, has helped improve my mood and overall well-being.
In recent years the research surrounding this topic has exploded. I can’t even tell you how many articles I have seen shared all over Facebook and Twitter listing the benefits that pets have on our health.
Pets can help enhance the quality of our lives, in every which way.
Here are a few key reasons as to why animals can help improve your mental health.
Part of owning and properly caring for your pet involves taking it to the vet on occasion, regularly scheduled walks and sometimes even obedience classes.
While at the vet or puppy school it’s certain that you are going to have to talk to AT LEAST one person.
The secretary, veterinarian, class instructor.
It is likely that you will pass someone out while you’re on a walk with your dog. Just the other day I was sitting in my yard with our two dogs and over the span of an hour three people came up to me asking to pet the dogs.
Although fearful, I didn’t want to be rude so I pushed past my anxiety and socialized with each person that came by.
Dogs, especially, but nearly all pets will help you increase your socialization and break down some of those social barriers.
Pets make some of the best companions. They love you unconditionally and will constantly be there for you.
Some animals even have some sort of sixth sense and just happen to know when we’re unsettled.
Pets won’t judge you for your looks, they usually don’t care if you smell and they can’t even talk back to you. Now that sounds like the perfect friend to me.
From cuddles on the couch to playtime, there’s nothing that makes a better companion than your animal.
They Provide You With a Sense of Responsibility
Waking up early, refilling water bowls, cleaning up poop. It’s all part of caring for an animal.
One of the most annoying parts in fact.
These irritating responsibilities can also be some of the most rewarding. Most people feel some sense of accomplishment while caring for their animals.
Not only do our animals keep us on our toes, they keep us busy as well. Which brings me to my next point.
A pet can be one of the best distractions.
Are you feeling down or upset and need a distraction?
Your animal is the perfect place to turn.
The possibilities are endless. You could have playtime with your lizard or take the dog for a walk. You could even take a trip to the pet store to stock up on the much-needed cat litter.
Pets serve as a great distraction from some of your worst behaviors.
There has been a great deal of research about the health benefits of pets.
Animals boost our moods and have calming effects.
It has been proven that petting a dog can lower your blood pressure.
Simply stroking an animal may even decrease your elevated heart rate.
Pets serve as great stress reducers and positively impact your health in more ways than one.
Always Have an Ear Open
Who better to tell your secrets to than someone who you know for a fact will not spill the beans.
Animals serve as great listeners. Although we may never know if they’re actually listening to us rant about how Johnny never texted us back, it’s nice to know that you’ll always have someone to talk to no matter what.
Even better, they can’t respond so you can ramble on and on for as long as you want without more than a few eye rolls.
So next time you’re frustrated and need to talk it out, go find your dog and get down to business.
If you don’t have a pet, I highly recommend going out to get one. You don’t necessarily need a dog. It can be whatever you’re into and right for your budget.
Lizards and guinea pigs are great alternatives to a puppy. They can be cuddly and are fairly low maintenance. They are most definitely cost effective as well, so no need to stress yourself out any more than you already are.
Do you have a pet that has helped improve your health? Drop me a line in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you.