How Pets can Improve your Mental Health

Get set with the right pet

Pets not only give us unconditional love, but they also play a key role in improving the quality of our lives.

Kids for life, a pet is an overgrown child that always stays a part of the family. Creatures like canines, felines and birds can make a person’s life more meaningful. While these are the more conventional choices, many a home are opening their doors to welcome pets such as rodents and reptiles as well.

Pets are known to help improve the mental health of their owners by providing relief from stress and depression. And a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. The presence of a pet is known to trigger a sense of belonging, a feeling of happiness, and an increased sense of trust, leading to the release of oxytocin, commonly known as the love hormone.

Here we take you into the wonderful world of pets and what they can do for us.

Woofs and purrs

Dogs–whatever the size or breed–are scientifically known to be one of the best pets to tackle depression and other mental health issues. They make sure you step out of the house at least twice a day, hence, reducing isolation and loneliness. Also, they simply bowl you over with their unconditional affection, giving your self-esteem a solid boost.

On the other hand, while cats don’t force a person to step out, their purring–a sound they make when they are happy and content–is therapeutic, so much so that recordings of cats purring are available online. When a cat kneads the lap of a person, it has a most relaxing and calming effect.

While it is not easy to take responsibility for a life, having a pet brings out your innate nurturing instinct.

Tiny but mighty

Not many have the time or space to welcome a dog or a cat into their brood. Here is where tinier beings come to the rescue. Aquarium-reared fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles and lovebirds are increasingly finding a place among us. Let’s find out how they help in healing.

Fish: Fish are said to bring tranquility and calm to those who can find the time to watch them swim by. According to studies, watching a fish in an aquarium can “reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rates.” They push the owner to maintain a routine, and hence, encourage a sense of responsibility. And yet fish aren’t high maintenance pets.

Hamsters: Ideal for hyperactive kids due to their high energy quotient, hamsters encourage interaction. Though mostly nocturnal, these little fur balls help reduce stress with the uncomplicated love they are capable of giving.

For those who feel they don’t bond, hamsters are actually known to suffer from separation anxiety if they don’t see their owners often.

Rabbits: These animals can be charming, affectionate and very interactive. For someone suffering from low self-esteem or depression, rabbits are ideal as they bond closely with their owners. They may follow their owners from room to room and even jump up on their laps when called.

Lovebirds: Keeping birds encourages a person to interact socially. Their chirping is a natural stimulus, lifting the mood and enhancing creativity. It’s a delight to hear them greet you when you walk into a room. While birds need to maintain a strict diet, the responsibility of providing them with drinking water and a clean cage or coop makes it a cherished activity.

While it is not easy to take responsibility for a life, having a pet brings out your innate nurturing instinct. Apart from a disciplined routine, they also bring a sense of purpose to your life.

Open your home to the right pet and watch yourself transform every day.




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