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    Do pets Improve Your Mental Health?

    Introduction

    Pets can be very beneficial for the mental and physical health of the body. Undoubtedly, many pet owners are aware of the immediate benefits of joy, but most of them are unaware of the underlying mental, emotional, physical, and psychological benefits of having pets.

    This article will educate you on the underlying benefits of pets on your mental health and complete wellbeing.

    Benefits of having a pet

    Only recently have scientists tried to find out the potential health benefits of having a pet in your life. Scientific studiessupport the idea that pets improve your mental health. There is a study conducted on many patients with injuries, chronic pain, and disability. Results make us believe that pet association dramatically reduces anxiety, pain intensity, PTS and improves patient life satisfaction. In reality, pets are not a part of life. For some, they are the whole life. No one can deny the importance and benefits of pets in their life. However, they don’t know the health benefits associated with having pets.

    Pets are responsible for relieving stress and anxiety, adding happiness, eliminating loneliness, and adding value to your life. They are also responsible for adding health benefits to your life and make your life full of wonders. Having pets can reduce depression; playing with your pet dog or cat can produce increased dopamine and serotonin, leading to reduced anxiety.

    How pets help you maintain a healthy lifestyle

    Pets add different values to your life. They make you live in a different way that benefits your mental, physical, emotional, and psychological health and wellbeing. Here you will find how a pet adds value to your life.

    Exercise:

    Pets encourage you to play, train and spend active hours with them. They schedule your life, and you get a companion to spend your morning and evening hours having a walk around the block. Taking a walk, running, and hiking with your pet becomes a rewarding activity to maintain your health through exercise. Studies show that you are more likely to complete your daily exercise activity if you have a pet.

    Companionship:

    In recent days, people need a companion to spend time with. In reality, there is no better choice than having a pet to fulfill the need for a companion. Pets don’t deceive you, don’t react back when you are disturbed. More importantly, they behave the way you want them to. Therefore, they fulfill the vacant seat of the perfect companion in your life. In addition, they are the ideal companion for your emotional catharsis.

    Increase social circle:

    Pets are an excellent social lubricant that eases the way to make new friendships. Pets give the reason to talk to other person and hence break one of the barriers of communication. You may have seen dog owners meeting and chatting during the walk or hike. They may not know each other since before, but now they have developed a strong bond because of their furry friends. Other than parks, pet owners get a chance to meet new people in pet shops and training centers.

    Reduce anxiety:

    Accompanying a pet is very comforting and relaxing; it reduces stress and anxiety and helps you build the confidence to go outside. Most of our stress releases due to physical exercises, and pets motivate us for physical activities. Pets don’t care for the future or the past; they tend to live in the moment. In addition, living with a lively creature makes you energetic, and you too start living in the moment. (Jennings, 1997)

    Add routine to your life:

    Pets learn by conditioning, and hence they live a scheduled life. Once they have made a routine, they will follow it. Not to mention, pet routine and owner routine are always synchronized. If you have made a routine of going out for a walk with your dog, he will wake you up early and make you go for a walk. Therefore, pets are a gift for lazy cows. Moreover, having a consistent routine makes your pet’s life balanced and calm. The same is true for you.

    Stress-relieving:

    Cuddling and doing exercise with the pet are two fundamental ways to manage stress. Indeed, pets provide you with both. Pets provide you with sensory stress relief by having cuddles with your pet at any time of the day. In addition, pets provoke you to move yourself to play, walk or hike. In both ways, you and your pet are getting benefits of health and wellbeing.

    How pets benefit senior adults

    Pets are beneficial for people of any age. However, they provide exclusive benefits to seniors of the society. They make their lives even more meaningful and joyful.

    Provide meaning and joy to their life:

    With age, you lose many essential things that gave you the purpose of living and occupied your time. In addition, your children may not live with you after retirement. But keeping a pet keeps your morale high, creates optimism and a sense of worth. It gives meaning to your life, and your life becomes purposeful.

    Stay connected:

    Retirement, death, illness, and incapability can take away your close relations. In reality, living an old age life isn’t always easy. Making new friends is difficult, but not if you have a pet companion. Your pet can break all the barriers in the way of your social life. Dogs, especially, light up the spark of conversation and provide an opportunity to meet new people.

    Boost your health: :

    Age brings you physical weakness; your daily activity level decreases, and your body starts becoming weak. Having a lively companion makes it easy for you to increase your activity level. Dogs, cats, and other pets encourage you to play, laugh and exercise daily. They are a great way to spend a healthy time with. In actuality, having a pet increases the incidence of completion of daily activity routines. A healthy routine increases your energy and boosts your immune system. (Jennings, 1997)

    Final thoughts

    Having a pet has always been a great fortune for your health and wellbeing. Besides physical benefits, pets provide you with emotional, mental, and psychological health. It is important to realize that pets benefit the young, but their health benefits are also for children and seniors. Pets read your body language more efficiently than most of your human companions. Dogs, especially, look into your eyes and try to read your emotional state and feelings, and then act accordingly.

    Article by Dr. Saba Afzal
    Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine

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