October 1, 2022 | News

The mental health benefits of bringing a pet home

The mental health benefits of bringing a pet home

Bringing a pet home is an important act that makes the animal a permanent part of your family. There are several mental health benefits of adopting a pet that helps to improve your overall happiness, health and lifestyle, starting on the very first day.

All animal lovers will be well aware of how affectionate, loyal and friendly many animals are, but there are other reasons why having a pet in your home is a great idea.

walking dogThey encourage you to exercise

This may be more common if your pet is a dog, but owning a pet is proven to encourage you to exercise more. In fact, research has shown that dog owners are 34% more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking per week, so there are obvious benefits to your physical health. This physical exercise also spawns several mental health benefits because even a small amount of exercise per day can help to reduce negative mood, feelings of depression, social withdrawal and lack of mental energy.

They help with anxiety

Pets have also been proven to help with feelings of anxiety just by being a presence in your home that you constantly engage with. Cats, for example, have been found to purr as a sign of affection for their owners, which works to decrease mental stress in owners. This is also true of other pets. Smaller animals, like guinea pigs and hamsters, are relaxing to hold when you’re feeling stressed or nervous. All of this is due to the fact that interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol, comforting the owner and easing anxious feelings.

They reduce feelings of loneliness

Pets are excellent companions because they are fiercely loyal to and dependent on their owners. You are responsible for providing them with food, water, exercise, a safe home and a playful lifestyle. In return, your pets provide unconditional love and affection, so you never have to feel like you’re alone. Your pet is also an avenue for socialising with other people too, such as in the park, at the vet and just in casual conversation with other pet owners. Having a pet in your home facilitates social connections with entire communities of animal lovers, so you’ll always have something to talk about.

They improve overall happiness

From children to the elderly, happiness in life is absolutely essential. Having a pet in your home is proven to help with this because of all the mental health benefits of being in close proximity to an animal that you love. Having the responsibility of taking care of a pet instils many people with an inflated sense of purpose, which, coupled with improved mental wellness, helps a person move towards an overall happier life.

Ultimately, bringing a pet into your home could be one of the best things you’ve ever done. The relationship between a person and their pet is a special one, based purely on mutual love and loyalty. The mental health benefits of owning a pet are incredible and they promote a fulfilling new lifestyle to animal lovers everywhere.