Are pets good for our mental health?
In short, yes, pets are great in reducing our stress and anxiety while allowing us to get out and life a healthier life. Research has shown that cat and dog owners, on average, are more likely to state their lives are better based on the 4 mental health factors these being anxiety, worthwhileness, life satisfaction and happiness. The most popular reasons for getting a pet is because they make us happy with the unconditional love and affection they provide.
Exercising with our pets
Having a pet is a great source of encouragement to get us out and exercising. Dogs especially, need about an hour of exercise each day. This daily exercise reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 36% compared to non-pet owners. Whether it is a daily walk, run or a simple game of fetch. Getting out and about has great health benefits for both us and our pets. It helps to keep us physically fit and healthy as well as keeping our mental health positive too as the benefit of being outdoors walking can be extremely beneficial for depression and anxiety sufferers.
While taking our dogs for walks it is likely that you might run into other dog owners and strike up a conversation with them. Meeting new people through these interactions means that we are more connected with likeminded people in the surrounding community, are part of a group and are therefore less withdrawn from the people around us. Studies have shown that humans interactions like these keep our mental health up.
Pets to keep us company
Having a pet in the house means that you are never lonely. The majority of cat owners in the UK have said that coming home to a cat makes them feel less lonely.
Our pets keep us company, give us a sense of security and they are always ready to greet us with a happy face when we get home. Studies have shown that by simply sitting and stroking a pet can have a calming influence on us. This therapy is called sensory stress relief. It is a therapy that uses touch and movement to manage stress by feeling calm and less stressed. Playing with our pets have shown to raise our serotonin and dopamine levels. These are the hormones responsible for regulating our moods as well as a number of other factors in the body, they help us to relax and remain calm. While for Alzheimer’s sufferers, having a pet in the home can lead to fewer anxious outbursts.
Pets give us purpose
Having a pet in the house gives us a sense of purpose because they are dependable on us. Many of our pets require a structured lifestyle with a regular feeding and exercising routine. These structured days are not only good for our pets, but they can have a positive effect on us too. Even if we are having a bad day, we still have to get up to care for our pets. Taking care of our pets, seeing their milestones and achievements give us a great sense of responsibility and pride. They bring us endless joy and provide unconditional love to lift our spirits.
The benefits of pets for both old and young
Having a pet in the house will help to ease loneliness for old people that are living alone. This gives them a great sense of purpose and a wonderful feeling of happiness.
Having a pet is not only good for older people but for children too. Taking care of a pet gives children a sense of responsibility by teaching them many valuable life lessons. Some of these lessons include patience, kindness and trust to only name a few.
Our pets do so much for us without even knowing it, they make us smile on a daily basis and provide us with the unconditional love that we need. Protect the furry members of your family by having a look at our wide range of cover levels to find one that suits you best.