Here’s what veterinarians in Charlottesville say about, ‘are pets good for mental health?’

Animals and humans have coexisted since the beginning of time. Despite being so different, they share a unique and mutually beneficial bond. Domestic animals such as cats and dogs make excellent pets. According to statistics, 85 million families in the USA own a pet, which is approximately 67% of US households.

Pet owners consider pets a part of their family. They treat them with a lot of love and receive unconditional and unlimited love in return. The joy that pets bring to us has been scientifically proven as well. Studies have shown that pets can regulate moods and help with relieving depression, anxiety, and stress. They are excellent companions who don’t ask for much and help ease loneliness. Kids, adults, and senior citizens all enjoy the company of pets.

Let us take a detailed look at how pets are good for one’s mental health.

They Help Lower Stress and Anxiety

  • Simple acts of petting and playing with animals can help relieve stress and anxiety. This is due to the fact that interaction with pets reduces the levels of stress hormones namely cortisol. It also increases the levels of feel-good hormones such as oxytocin. Due to this reason, animal-assisted therapy is gaining so much traction.

Even the mere act of stroking a pet reduces blood pressure. Consequently, stress is lowered. Hyperactive children calm down when they play with puppies.

They Give a Purpose to Our Lives

  • Pets are dependent on us for almost all their needs. Due to their dependability, they make us feel needed and wanted. For most people, this can boost their self-esteem and give a purpose to their lives.  Those of us who have not acted as caregivers in any other capacity can benefit greatly from having a pet.

Caretaking and caregiving have multiple mental and psychological benefits. It provides a sense of achievement and makes people more responsible. Moreover, having a purpose in life can help relieve depression and reduce loneliness.

Pets Build a Healthy Routine for You

Owning a pet comes with quite a lot of responsibility. Taking responsibility can help build a healthy regimen that can support mental health in the long run. Pets help us in the following ways

are pets good for mental health

  • Pets, like cats and dogs, are sporty and outdoorsy. Pet owners have to take them out for a walk, jog, or hike and play different sports with them. These physical activities not only act as a mood booster but also help you stay in shape. Pet owners meet their requirements for daily exercise without even trying.
  • Pet ownership motivates us to spend more time outdoors in nature. Nature has a healing effect on humans and can improve mental health.
  • Pets have different needs and requirements. To fulfill those needs, pet owners have to follow a regular schedule. By following a set pattern, people become more responsible and punctual. This improves the overall quality of one’s life.

Pets Make Us More Carefree and Playful

  • Animals are a lot more carefree than humans. They don’t deal with the same worries as humans do and don’t carry any burdens. Being in their company can teach important things such as letting go and being more carefree. Pet owners claim that they sense a certain sense of freedom when they are playing with their pets.

Pets teach us to live in the moment, be more mindful of the present, and let go of the past and future. Pets also teach us to be more playful and enjoy life to the fullest.

  • This information has been brought to you by Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center. They provide general wellness, urgent care, and dental services for pets and are located in Charlottesville, VA.