Just as a healthy diet and regular exercise keeps our physical health in check, maintaining a balanced mental state is important for overall wellbeing.
Humans have grown to view pets as an essential part of life since the domestication of animals, but what impact do they really have on us?
Dogs Make People Healthier
Although there are many studies showing that owning a pet has many physical and mental health benefits, there is also evidence that they can lead to weight loss.
Taking on a dog requires an increased level of responsibility, activity and boosts people’s self-esteem , all factors which encourage healthier lifestyles.
The benefits surrounding canine ownership don’t stop at the waistline either: dogs increase physical activity levels, encourage social interaction and act as part of the family.
As well as this, dog owners are more likely to survive heart attacks than non-dog owners , which is achieved by having lower blood pressure.
Not only does owning a dog help prevent obesity, it also reduces hospital visits for elderly people living away from friends and family, who might otherwise become lonely and depressed .
Cats Make Us Happier
As well as dogs, cats also improve mental health by reducing stress. One study found that talking to a pet can reduce cortisol, the hormone which is associated with stress, at least in women , who were also less likely to feel tired and stressed than those who didn’t talk to their cat. Got a cat that’s as stressed as you are? Try CBD for pets, our pets have the same Endocannabinoid System as humans!
Higher levels of cortisol can cause anxiety and depression so having a furry friend close by could be beneficial for both physical and emotional wellbeing. The effect was particularly notable in women who had recently lost a loved one or suffered from divorce, as they felt calmer when stroking their pets than if they spoke to them. It’s suggested that this is because stroking pets triggers memories of happier times spent with a loved one .
Cats also provide a playmate for children, which can help instil a sense of responsibility and encourage nurturing behaviour .
Pet therapy is just as beneficial for humans as it is for our furry friends. The act of caring for another living creature encourages empathy, boosts self-esteem and promotes better mental health , all factors that contribute to feeling happy with life. Pets can be particularly beneficial when recovering from illness or after suffering trauma such as divorce or bereavement.
What is Pet Therapy?
Pet therapy is the use of animals in order to bring about physical and psychological improvements, such as boosting mobility and even preventing post-traumatic stress disorder . It can be used by both children and adults.
Pets provide love and support at a time when we need it most and help us lead more active lives. Some pets also need therapy themselves just as CBD Oil for Pets that can help alleviate some health symptoms.
How do pets improve our mental health?
Pets help people to:
- Feel less stressed due to exercise, affection, social interaction with other pet owners and increased responsibility
- Alleviate loneliness through companionship
- Overcome loss or trauma such as bereavement or divorce
- Become more socially confident, whereas some might otherwise be shy around others
- Feel happier with life in general
- Become more empathetic through caring for another living creature
Caring for pets encourages empathy, boosts self-esteem and promotes better mental health. An increase in physical activity levels can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Taking on a pet that requires care could be viewed as a sign of responsibility and serve as a positive influence on children too. Pets also provide love and support at a time when we need it most.
What are the benefits of Pet Ownership for Mental Health?
Positive effects from pet ownership include:
- Increased happiness because of feelings of pleasure from seeing our pets happy or excited about certain things such as going for walks or being fed
- Reduces loneliness and/or depression by providing unconditional love
- Improves communication through teaching children how to care for their pets
- Increased self-esteem because of time spent taking good care of pets
- Reduces stress levels due to the distraction caused by playing with our pets
Pets can be beneficial in many situations. For example, when recovering from illness or after suffering trauma such as divorce or bereavement. The act of caring for another living creature encourages empathy, boosts self-esteem and promotes better mental health .
It is also important to note that not only do dogs help improve mental health, but cats are just as beneficial if not more so.
Both animals provide companionship which is provided unconditionally, they increase physical activity levels and reduce stress so are vital in living a happy, healthy life for people of all ages.