Authored on: 08 October 2020
Pets and mental health
The companionship that a pet offers is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress.
A pet can be a great source of comfort, companionship and motivation for their owners. In many ways, pets can help us to live mentally healthier lives.
Pets and depression
Pets are also a great motivator for people. Dogs especially are great at encouraging owners to get exercise, and this can be beneficial for those suffering from depression. Pets can also have calming effects on their owner. Just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet can gives owning a chance to relax and calm their minds. Caring for a pet also gives your day purpose and reward, and a sense of achievement. It also helps you feel valuable and needed.
Pets and socialising
Walking a dog often leads to conversations with other dog owners and this helps owners to stay socially connected and less withdrawn. People who have more social relationships and friendships tend to be mentally healthier.
Pets and loneliness
A pet is great companion. They give owners company, a sense of security and someone to share the routine of the day with. Pets can be especially valuable company for those in later life and living alone.
Pets and people in later life
People in later life experiencing typical life stresses can be comforted by a companion pet. It is thought that a dog can be a stress buffer that softens the effects of adverse events on a person. With an animal in the home, people with Alzheimer's are thought to have fewer anxious outbursts.