You’ve heard dogs referred to as ‘man’s best friend’ before. And it’s not just dogs! As per a study, more than 60% of Americans own a pet. This means that the chances of someone close to you having a dog, cat, or another animal as part of their family are high.
Granted, including a pet in your life is a big commitment. By doing so, you agree to be responsible for another creature as long as you live. You’ll need to put into consideration the money and time you’ll invest in pet care.
The best part is, having pets yields countless benefits, most of them being mental health benefits.
If you’re wondering how a pet can enhance your mental health, the post below gives you tangible ways of how this happens.
The Relationship Between Pets and Mental Health
Investigators printed the first study on pets and mental health 30 years ago. Psychiatrist Aaron Katcher and psychologist Alan Beck of Purdue University carried out the research.
They measured what happens to the anatomy when an individual strokes a friendly canine. They discovered that:
- The heart rate lowered
- Muscle tension relaxed
- Blood pressure reduced
- Breathing became more frequent
The above are indicators of lowered stress. Therefore, the scientists found physical proof of the mental health benefits of pets. As far as other remedies go, one can try herbal teas like chamomile, ginger, peppermint to reap the benefits, naturally for a better mental health. The calming effects of red bali kratom are yet another popular choice.
From that time, scientists have discovered so much more regarding the link between mental wellbeing and pets. As an outcome, animal-assisted therapy programs have become an integral part of mental health curing.
Moreover, people benefit from possessing mental health creatures such as an emotional support dog.
How to Determine the Best Pet for You
Finding the right pet can be overwhelming. It’s like choosing a roommate. You want to see to it that your lifestyles and efforts combine effortlessly before you can make a long-term commitment.
Luckily, the pointers below will make the process easier:
- Find out how much space you have.
- Discover the relationship you want with your pet beforehand.
- Consider the number of people living in your home.
- Find out how much free time you have daily.
- Consider your budget.
How Can Owning a Pet Improve Your Mental Health?
Life throws so much at us daily. From meeting deadlines to caring for kids, each of us has challenges that can wear us out.
Though most people rely on medicines for their peace of mind, there’s a better and more natural way to keep your mental health intact: By getting a pet! Here are some ways that having a pet can improve your mental wellbeing:
1. Pets Can Lower Loneliness
Owning a pet can offer social stimulation that can, in turn, reduce abandonment. Because isolation is a risk element for depression, talking to and caring for your lovable creatures can lower your chances of getting depression.
Pets, especially the friendly and furry type, can help you meet your requirements for touch.
2. A Pet Makes You Feel Needed
Individuals feel more wanted when they have a pet to care for. Caring for another living creature gives us a sense of meaning and purpose.
This is also true even if the pet doesn’t mingle with you much or at all. As per a study in 2016 around mental health and pets, some aged people were given crickets in a cage.
Investigators monitored their mood over eight weeks. They discovered that these people became less depressed and were more optimistic.
3. Pets Can Boost Your Social Life
If you suffer from social anxiety, having a pet can give you the confidence to talk to another person. Specialists often refer children who get anxious about reading to programs where they read to canines.
Dogs don’t care if the child stammers or misreads. They only want love and affection.
Even if you don’t have social anxiety, as a pet owner, there’s so much you can talk about with your fellow pet owner, such as:
- Whether their dog gets along with other dogs.
- What kind of kitty litter you prefer.
- How you can make your dog stop going after your cat.
- Which vet you use.
4. Pets Can Lower Your Stress Levels
There are several ways that pets can minimize stress. One of them is physical. Creatures can reduce your blood pressure. You don’t even have to pet them, and it’s not only cute, fluffy pets that’ll work.
Even focusing on fish in their aquariums can minimize your stress levels. It’s no wonder that some dental and medical offices have fish in their waiting rooms.
5. Pets Help You Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
As you take care of your pet, you develop healthy routines and habits. For example:
- Spend time in nature as you ride a horse or walk a dog.
- Remember to take care of yourself as you care for your pet.
- Get exercise when you take your pet out for hikes, walks, or runs.
- Pets give you a reason to wake up each day and begin your day.
Pets play a crucial role in improving your mental health despite your stage in life. Sure, they may be messy and sometimes chaotic, but with some love and care from you, they’ll learn to blend into your lifestyle.
You work hard. Therefore, you deserve a fitting way to handle all of life’s cares. Get a pet today and witness firsthand how you’ll feel better and happier!