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How Having Pets Can Improve Your Mental Health

by Nina Jacobs The Insured Pet
November 8, 2022
a woman playing with a dog and explaining how pets can improve your mental health

Mental health experts agree that animal pets do wonders for our well-being. Contrary to a common belief, pets are more than just cuddly buddies; you must feed or walk them from time to time. Multiple studies confirm the benefits animals have on their owners. Sounds too good to be true? Make sure to stick around for a bit longer and read about how pets can improve your mental health and make your life better. If you don’t have a pet just yet, this article will show you why it would be a perfect time to bond with one.

Having a pet keeps you on track with your routine

A pet isn’t just your friend but also a responsibility. The pet has its routine you must follow. Although it seems like an extra obligation for you, it will keep you anchored in your own routine too. Furthermore, taking care of a pet keeps your mind occupied. Moreover, it pushes your brain to focus on the schedule. For instance, you won’t have trouble sleeping in since your pet will tell you it’s hungry. 

Those with trouble falling asleep claim their sleeping schedule got fixed thanks to having a pet. Simply put, daily tasks paired with pet care are pretty energy-consuming. You’re left with a pet who brings joy into your life. That pleasant energy gives you the peace of mind to fall asleep. If your budget and living conditions allow so, consider getting yourself a pet of your choice – dog, cat, bird, and so on (steer clear of exotic pets).

You start to spend more time outside

If you get a dog, rest assured you’ll have to go outside whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter what’s the weather – the dog will enjoy playing outside, walking, and exploring. This alone benefits you in so many ways:

  • Even a light walk around the block helps your muscles instead of staying all day indoors.
  • The brain gets stimulated thanks to environmental changes.
  • Your brain gets more oxygen, which combats brain fog and prevents depressive episodes.
  • Playing with your dog (throwing sticks, running with it) can lift your mood.
  • Going outside doesn’t seem like a tedious thing to do anymore.
a man spending time outdoors with his pet dog
Expect to spend more time outside with a dog.

Pets infuse you with joy

It’s scientifically proven that the joy your pet friend brings you is simply contagious. It doesn’t take long for your cat, dog, or birdy to remind you how simple and joyous life can be. Plus, coming home from work looks different when you have an animal friend to greet you happily.

Having a pet can reduce stress

Hardships in life are easier to go through when having a pet companion, studies suggest. Those who had a pet companion to help them through hard times became better at managing their stress levels. Caring for a pet becomes the same as caring for a close family member. That alone is enough to lift your mood and put you in a better place mentally. The care itself has good intentions, and that’s the last thing that’ll cause you stress. The simple act of giving food and water, walking a pet outside, and playing with it are enough to take your mind off a stressful day or week.

a woman gently holding her cat
Spending time with a pet can take your mind off the daily stress.

Pets make you feel less lonely

Pet friends provide genuine comfort and support, which means a lot to someone who is yet to regain trust in people or society as a whole. Further, having a pet around can minimize the uncomfortable feelings of loneliness. Animals help humans feel comfort and trust they haven’t had in a while. If this is you, then you might want to consider getting a pet.

Mental health and addiction professionals advise having a pet around

It’s shown that interaction between a human and a pet benefits ongoing therapy. That’s why dog therapy is another way experts can help you through it effectively. Dog therapy is accepted worldwide and confirmed as successful by many experts. Trained therapy dogs can help with depressive episodes by offering comfort and unconditional support. They are also advised for those who are going through addiction recovery. Pets provide unconditional attention and comfort to the patient. Only that way, it becomes easier to keep up with recovery and remain sober. Another benefit of dog therapy during addiction recovery is that it helps a patient slowly re-socialize. A pet can follow a patient through the self-care process, newly established life structure, and post-care stages of recovery. Those with an animal friend at their home have a lot less risk of relapse.

a woman relaxing in her cozy home with her pet
Pets can improve your mental health and lifestyle.

Extra tips for a harmonious life with your pet

These tips will help you maintain a harmonious homelife with your pet in the long run:

  • Pet-proof your home, whether you live in a house or an apartment. Doing so will make your life with a pet less chaotic and more harmonious. The good news is it doesn’t cost a fortune to make your home pet-friendly. You can start by adding a pet-friendly carpet, chew-proof sofa, or protective cover you’ll lay over the existing furniture. If you plan to decorate your living room or bedroom with plants, opt for pet-friendly, non-toxic ones.
  • Keep track of pet food, shampoo, and other necessities in order to know when to resupply.
  • Consider pet insurance options and choose the best one.
  • Make a schedule and set the alarms, so you don’t happen to forget to walk the dog, feed it, or give medication.
  • Invest in dog props/toys or special play space.

Wrapping up

Animals understand our emotions and sense our energy in a way. It’s safe to say that having pets can improve your mental health and the overall quality of your life as well. However, that doesn’t imply that pets are nothing but tools that offer unconditional love. The fact that dogs can have such a positive impact on one’s mental health speaks volumes. It further confirms how important it is to develop a solid bond with a pet and nurture it.

Check out the Best Pet Insurance that will suit you and your Pet at https://www.theinsuredpet.com/insurance-review

About Nina Jacobs

Nina Jacobs enjoys hiking with her German Shepherd pet companion Aly. When she doesn’t write, she paints with watercolors and enjoys Sci-Fi movie marathons.
Tags: Health