The adorable and affectionate qualities of a pet bring so much joy to a household. Dogs, in particular, are known to be loyal and devoted companions, which earned their reputation of being a man’s best friend. But did you know that having a pet also improves our emotional and mental well-being?
Dogs and cats can alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. They can also improve our physical health by encouraging us to exercise as we play or walk with them. If you have a dog in Loxahatchee, for example, engaging them in a comprehensive obedience training for dogsWhat the Studies Reveal
Studies have found that owning a pet reduces one’s risk of suffering from depression than those who don’t. In addition, levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are both “happy hormones”, can shoot up when playing with pets. We experience these therapeutic benefits because pets are able to provide our basic need for touch. Close physical contact with pets can instantly soothe our stress and anxiety, and their companionship can ease our loneliness. Playing with pets, especially with dogs, also provides an opportunity for exercise, something that we need to ease depression and boost our moods.
Pets can also teach us to be mindful. For example, when we walk our dog, our attention can be focused on the present moment as we watch them scrutinize their surroundings. We can follow their example by opening up our senses and appreciating everything around us. The mindfulness that we gain from our pets makes it possible to meditate with them, too.
The University of Vienna has recent findings stating that dogs are able to sense emotions, and they’re even capable of distinguishing good ones from bad ones. Because of this impressive ability, they can be trained to become service dogs for people suffering from mental illnesses, such as PTSD. Having a service dog by their side can benefit them greatly because these dogs are trained to properly respond during an episode.
Pets Give Us a Sense of Purpose
People are happiest when they feel that their life holds a purpose. Caring for a pet gives us responsibility from feeding, bathing, and walking them. Even when we are at our lowest, simply remembering to care for our pets can calm us down. When we keep them balanced, they also do the same for us.
Children who have pets can grow up more active and responsible. Meanwhile, for the elderly, caring for a pet can help them find meaning and happiness in life. As we get older, we gradually lose the ability to perform some tasks with ease, causing us to feel useless. With pets, we can bring back our sense of purpose, because they depend on us. Our sense of self-worth will increase, along with our morale and optimism.
Our sense of fulfilment can also be boosted, especially if we adopted a pet from the shelter. Rescue pets will be very appreciative of us, just as we appreciate and love them for giving us a new sense of purpose in old age.
Senior adults also tend to lose their social lives from their families being away and some friends passing on. Having a pet can ease their loneliness, and when they walk their dog, for example, they may meet new people and make new friends again because walking dogs can spark conversations.
Based on everything stated, it becomes easier to understand why pet lovers are very committed to their pets, with many of them even advocating for pet adoption and rescue. Visit local shelters if you’ve been thinking about owning a pet because your new best friend might be waiting there.