Getting a pet can help to boost your wellbeing, and animal companions are known to be especially beneficial to people suffering from mental illness. A pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a cat or a dog to provide a benefit, studies have shown that even watching fish in an aquarium can lower the heart rate.
Pets provide companionship for people of all ages, without the difficulties that can sometimes be part of human relationships! Therapists use animals to help children with autism, as they have a great calming effect on children who have become over-stimulated when seemingly nothing else will do the trick. Animals can also be a great way to teach children about forming relationships and about taking care of something, with parental supervision, of course.
They are also great company for older people who have difficulty getting out of the house as often as they would like to. Another bonus to this is for older people who have dogs, they can often be a way for them to maintain an active social life with other people who walk dogs or attend dog-based activities in their area.
Help you to make healthy choices
For people who are suffering from depression, making healthy choices for their own good is a very tall order. However, if they are responsible for a pet, then they will leave the house to buy pet food, for example, out of caring for their pet’s wellbeing.
Dogs, in particular, are helpful in this regard as they need to be walked regularly, so even if their owner wouldn’t normally have done any exercise, they have to simply because their furry pal needs to go for a walk. If you are walking a dog outside you must ensure that its vaccinations are up to date and it has been treated for fleas and worms to prevent it from becoming unwell. Easy Vet have a low-cost, walk-in clinic to make it easier to keep on top of this, for more information check veterinarianfriscotx.com
Another benefit of having a pet for people suffering from mental health issues is that they force you to stick to a regular routine, getting out of bed in the morning and going outside at regular times. Routine is important to good mental health, but it can be hard to stick to without motivation.
Lower stress and anxiety
Touch and movement are exercises in mindfulness. By stroking a cat or a dog, you can instantly lower your blood pressure and your anxiety levels. Studies have shown that having a pet leads to the release of oxytocin, which has a calming effect.
Having a pet is thought to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol, in fact, a study has been conducted that suggests that cat owners are 30% less likely to have a heart attack and 40% less likely to have a stroke.
A sense of purpose
We all need a sense of purpose to feel fulfilled in our lives. Pets can be a wonderful way to feel that sense of purpose because they really do rely on you to keep them happy and healthy. This feeling is intensified if you choose to adopt your pet from a shelter because you know that you are giving an animal a home who might not otherwise have had one.