All of us who have pets at home know that when we feel sad, being at their sides changes our spirits. Holding our dog or cat is wonderful therapy that can ward off depression, pain and anguish. Do not hesitate to try this treatment!
Pets and depression
The love, support and loyalty that our pets offer us is enough for any dark episode in our life to become a multicolored rainbow. The optimism that they express when they see us arrive, the desire with which they play or how they lick us in the face is often the only thing we need to feel better.
The benefits of having a pet are innumerable. One of them is the possibility of curing or reducing depression. The unconditional love of your dog or cat is usually more genuine than that of people. But beyond becoming hermits or antisocial, we can enjoy their company to mitigate the pain.
According to studies, animals have the ability to significantly reduce all types of negative feelings. Fatigue, stress, sadness, anguish, loneliness, anguish and depression go away as if by magic when we are near our pets.
The two classic companions that can achieve this are the dog and the cat. It is proven that when we stare at our dog, the brain produces more of the hormone oxytocin, known as “the happiness.” On the other hand, hearing the purring of a feline near us alleviates anxiety and immediately calms us.
How to choose a pet to overcome depression?
We already know that pets help those who suffer from depression (among other emotional problems). The next thing we have to take into account are the characteristics that animal has to have to become our friend, family or therapist.
First of all, the dog or cat should be calm and relaxed. This means that for example the more “energetic” races such as Yorkshire Terriers, poodles or boxers should not be considered. But pay attention, because it also depends on the temperament or character of the animal in particular. See how it is on a day-to-day basis.
Secondly, it might be a good idea to get a pet that has already passed its puppy stage. This is for several reasons: because it requires less attention an adult than as a baby and because we already know more or less what its habits or behaviors will be. In the case of elderly people with depression, a dog or cat over 5 years old would be perfect.
Thirdly, a dog is usually better company than a cat in these cases. No need for cat lovers to become defensive, but understand that if the owner feels depressed or sad, he will require a pet that will “accept” pampering at any time of the day. Cats tend to be more independent and prefer to be alone. In addition, the dogs require more attention: already in needing to take them out for a walk, we can put aside the sadness.
Also, having a pet improves your situation by …
Another tip would be to adopt a stray dog. Why? Because there is no animal in the world that is more grateful. If any pet is loving with its owners … imagine how this soul that has been rescued from more hardships that we can imagine will behave. Life will not reach you to return that favor. The signs of love that you will receive daily will be your medicine against depression.
Finally, if you cannot have a pet at home for reasons of space, time or money, we recommend that you get some dog or cat therapy once in a while. How? By going to a shelter for animals, visiting a relative or friend who has a pet or simply showing affection to an abandoned dog. You will see how you feel better instantly!