It’s become a well known fact that ownership of a pet is incredibly beneficial to our mental health. There are so many scientific studies that have proven animals produce calming effects on humans and pet therapy has become an absolute craze! But what exactly is it that makes our pets so great for our mood?
They reduce loneliness
Over 50% of UK households own a pet and when asked why, the leading answer is frequently “companionship”. Humans are social creatures and we hate being alone, so when there is no one to turn to a pet is often a sought after alternative for company. Animals are incredibly intuitive and dogs in particular will sense when you’re feeling down and will want to stay by your side — they are such great listeners and they never judge you, even if you leave your dirty socks lying around the house.
Petting is soothing
Repetitive petting and grooming movements can become rhythmic and soothing for your pet. Not only does this induce trust between your and your furry friend, but it can also be very relaxing for you! Concentrating on the softness of your pet and their loving reaction can make you feel peaceful and loved. This is because the hormone oxytocin, which is related to anxiety and stress relief, is released and helps to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, making you feel calm!
They keep you on a schedule
Pets need to be cared for (obviously) and they manage to keep on a schedule, despite not being able to read the time! Having a pet will encourage you to keep to regular feeding and exercise times; they’re not going to feed themselves kibble from the cupboard. Having a routine also helps to keep stress at bay as you feel more on top of your life and you’re not worrying about forgetting what you need to get done.
They get you outside
Dogs in particular get you outside as they need regular walks and exercise, but all kinds of pets need exercise! Whether you’re hopping around with your bunny in the garden or walking your iguana to the park, exercise gets those endorphins flowing. Pets encourage you to let off steam and get into shape — all the while boosting your self-esteem. Pet owners are noted to have lower blood pressure, as well as low cholesterol and better circulation, which is very likely to be linked to a more active lifestyle. Being outside also exposes you to a regular dose of vitamin D. A fit and healthy body is linked to a healthy mind.
They love you no matter what
Love from a pet is completely free from judgement, unlike love from humans. You could do the worst thing in the world, and your pet would still love and support you.
I hope you enjoyed this weeks post!
Lydia & Apollo