5 Reasons Pets are Good for Your Mental Health

5 Reasons Pets are Good for Your Mental Health

Last update: 16 April, 2018

When you decide to get a pet, you probably don’t do it thinking about the benefits it may bring you. However, studies are constantly being published confirming that living with pets helps us in all different ways in all stages of life. Today we’ll tell you why it’s so good for your mental health to share your home with a pet.

Why having a pet is good for your mental health

Puppy, a new friend

Let’s start by making a list of a few good things that pets give us every day:

  • Pets let us know how much they love us.
  • They don’t judge us or question our mistakes.
  • They don’t make fun of us or laugh at us.
  • Pets don’t discriminate against us because of our physical appearance or different physical abilities.

And those are just a drop in the bucket! But even here you can see that animals bring out the best in us. Below, we’ll talk about 5 ways that having a pet is good for your mental health.

1- They ward off feelings of loneliness

For people who live alone or spend a lot of time alone, having the company of an animal makes us feel more secure and also protected. Although they don’t speak our language, pets still stimulate communication and interaction.

It’s just a matter of paying attention to them and decoding their language. Maybe a nice session of petting is all it will take to dissipate any hint of loneliness.

2- They help with depression

When you get depressed, you lose interest in what’s around you. But, when you have a pet, responsibility will prevail over the lethargy of depression. After all, you’ll have to feed them, take them for walks, and take them to the vet when needed. Plus, hugging a furry friend is sometimes the perfect medicine for depression.

3- Pets are stress relievers

There’s nothing better than spending some time with your pet after a stressful day. A long, relaxing walk, playing at the park, or just petting their sweet head is just what you need. So learn from your furry friend and find time every day to relax with them. You’ll see such good results, better than any conventional treatment.

4- They make us more responsible

Having a pet makes us more responsible people. Knowing that another creature depends on us and that we must take care of them as best we can, they “train” us to be responsibile in all areas of life.

5- They help us socialize

Dog owners know that a great way to meet people is to take your dog on a walk. You make new friends, maybe even a special friend, and just have nice conversations with strangers and other dog owners. In addition, besides your walks, pets are always a good conversation subject for pretty much any situation.

Having a pet makes us happier

A kitten playing in the grass.

Basically the reason that having a pet is good for your mental health boils down to this: it makes you happier. To explain why, we’ll use a few scientific terms. What happens is that spending time with our non-human friends increases our oxytocin levels and stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine. In turn, cortisol levels will decrease.

All of this together, in addition to helping keep stress and depression at bay, makes us happier. But maybe you don’t need to hear about chemical substances in your brain to tell you something you already know. If you have a pet, you are already a happy person.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.