5 Ways Pets Can Help Improve Your Mental Health

This is a guest article from LabradorTrainingHQ.com

Pets are a furry boon in disguise.  They benefit our health both physically and mentally.  Did you ever feel an upsurge of happy hormones—dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins—during your last visit to the pet shelter?

Look after a pet not will not only teach you to become a more responsible person, but you’ll reap all the benefits of having a cute and cuddly companion.

And, considering the growing rate of mental health issues in our society, keeping a pet is a great way help improve your mental health.  Here are five ways pets helps us improve our mental health:

  1. Provide Optimistic Outlook:

Pet cats and dogs will make you go out for a walk, join doga classes or visit dog parks.  Pets engage us in various ways and cuddling them increases the release of happy hormones.

Dogs will make you go out in the sun that is beneficial to your physical and mental health.  Fresh air and sun fulfill the deficiency of vitamin D and help to lift your mood.  Vitamin D fights depression, obesity, cancer, and heart attacks.  Moreover, connecting with Nature outside will give you a sense of peace and satisfaction.

Thus, pets will help you reflect, be grateful, and develop an optimistic outlook on life. Optimism boosts creativity and creativity enhances your work performance.

Warning:  With so much positivity comes pet hair all over your furniture that can make you lose temper. However, stay calm and use pet vacuums. Check them out here.

  1. Help Fight Depression:

Loneliness breeds depression.  Pets provide us companionship and support.

Pets are great listeners and they provide emotional support to us.  Cuddling up a Fido will increase the production of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine that will boost your happiness level.  Oxytocin drops down blood pressure levels.

Therapy dogs are also famous for helping their owners fight depression, stress, and anxiety.

Studies have shown that dogs increase the emotional stability of their owners.  Children raised in a dog-friendly home are emotionally intelligent. Such traits of emotional intelligence including empathy, compassion, love, etc help us overcome depression.

  1. Treat PTSD patients:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) interferes with the normal functioning of the brain after a person has survived a trauma like a car accident, death of a close relative, assault, etc. Trauma leaves the person with anxiety attacks, nightmares, aggression, and flashbacks.  Most psychologists suggest good companionship, besides medicines and counseling, to help in the recovery of the patient.

In such cases, pets positively distract the patients.  Good experiences with the pooch or kitty can help the patient recover quickly.  Moreover, happy hormones will always be at your service.

  1. Give Purpose and Direction:

Pets are a great responsibility as well.  For example, we have to walk the dogs each day, take kitties for play, or making sure your puppy has a chew toy when teething.  Pets follow routines and if they are changed daily, it creates discomfort for them.

When the owner follows a routine, it creates discipline in his life.  Moreover, your pooch waking you up daily to go out for play will give you a purpose to get up and start living for the pooch.  Consequently, active life enhances your goals, achievements, and sense of staying directed in life.

  1. Help Us Socialize:

Pets create several opportunities for their owners to socialize and make new friends.  Such socialization creates confidence in the shy and anti-social owners.

When you take your Fido out, you must have seen people getting attracted to him.  You must have talked to thousands of strangers due to your pooch or kitty or other pet.  You will also be socializing with veterinary, pet behaviorist, and pet trainer etc.  In case of dogs, you can socialize with other dog owners at dog parks and doga classes.

Recent studies have shown that people who socialize more often have a lower risk of cardiac and mental issues.


Author Bio:

James is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant with years of experience in dog training and the man behind LabradorTrainingHQ.com. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times.