Did you know this past Sunday was National Dog Day? If you’re a dog owner, maybe you took your pooch out to the dog park for this special day!
Pets can have a bigger impact on our lives than we may realize. Their companionship has proven mental health benefits, not to mention those cute faces! If you’re a pet person, you can probably attest to why pets are good for you, and the happiness and livelihood they bring to your life and well-being. Here are a few ways pets can support our mental health.
Pets Get You Outside
Taking your dog out for a walk gets you out as well! Dogs need to be walked, so this will naturally become a regular exercise routine for you that you don’t even have to think about!
Getting outside elevates your mood in several ways. The fresh air and sunlight can help us feel better and elevate our Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps fight many conditions like depression, obesity and cancer.
Pets Build Our Immunity
Another reason why pets are good for you is that people who grow up around pets are actually less likely to develop allergies. Studies show this is related to the exposure and eventual immunity to allergy-inducers like pet dander.
In the long-term, allergies have way more of an effect on us than just a sniffly nose. Allergies can lead to increased lethargy and insomnia, which in turn can lead to issues like depression.
Pets Keep Us Grounded and Mindful
Almost anyone with a pet can attest to coming home after a crappy day and being instantly distracted by something funny or cute their pet is doing! Pets can be an automatic distraction from whatever is plaguing us, which over time, can help us to become much more mindful and present in the current moment.
The companionship that a pet provides for us is something that can’t necessarily be put into words. Pets are often intuitive and can tell when we really need someone by our side. They love us unconditionally and make us feel important and needed, which is a natural human desire.
Additionally, pets can be great for people who have an extreme fear or phobia of loneliness that negatively affects other ares of their lives. Just always be sure you’re getting a pet for the right reasons, because they are a long-term commitment.
Pets can improve our lives in many ways, and that often leads to better mental health. The saying that dog is “man’s best friend” holds true for many pets — and hey, also for women!
Pets have made loyal, wonderful companions for hundreds of years, and this is one of the many indicators of why pets are good for you. If you’re thinking about getting a pet, consider your lifestyle factors and whether you can devote the time to it. It is important not to get a pet just for your own benefit. They require significant care in order for you to be good for them.
Below, I’ve listed few excellent resources on some important things that new pet owners should know about:
Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership – American Veterinary Medical Association
Household Chemicals Poisonous to Pets – ASPCA
Poisonous Plants to Dogs and Cats – Rover
If after researching, you think you can make caring for a pet properly a priority, they are definitely worth the extra effort!