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5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Mental Health

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The majority of people have had a pet at some point in their lives. Whether it was a dog, a cat, a rabbit, or an animal that others wouldn’t consider pet material, many have had a furry companion to help give them comfort. Animals are something that is very common to have as a part of your family and for good reason. Having a pet has been linked to improving your mental health for numerous reasons.

1. Pets can be a good source of comfort and motivation that helps us live mentally healthier lives.

There are tons of different ways that having a pet can help improve your life. For starters, if you own a dog, you’re likely to be more physically active. Dogs require physical exercise to live a good life, so many dog owners take their dog owners out for walks every day. This is a fun way to fit exercise into your daily routine.

2. Pets provide companionship that can help get people through the day.

This companionship offers a sense of security, and caring for a pet can help you feel more wanted and needed. This can help shut down negative feelings since issues like depression often stem from feelings unwanted. Older people who live alone can also benefit from having a pet since they’ll have someone to share the house with.

3. Owning a pet can also help reduce anxiety and boost self-confidence.

Anxiety is an intense feeling of fear and unease, and having a pet can give you someone to hug and cuddle with to help calm your nerves. Pets can also boost self-confidence since they offer unconditional love and won’t criticize you. If you feel isolated and misunderstood, talking to your pet may help you feel better because you have someone there who feels like they’re listening. Plus, you can vent to them about whatever, and they’re still going to love you.

4. Pets can also help you meet new people.

Since so many people own pets, they can be a great conversation starter. Lots of people want to have the opportunity to brag about their pets to someone else, and that can lead you into having other conversations. Dog owners can also meet new people at dog parks and while they take their dogs out for a walk. You can help socialize your dog while you socialize with someone at the same time.

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5. Pets also help add structure to your day.

Having to feed, exercise and care for your pet can help you develop a daily routine. Daily routines are a great way to help you have structure in your life that will help you feel more focused, and daily routines can also help lessen negative feelings of having no purpose. This daily routine can help people who suffer from specific issues like ADHD. Caring for your pet will give you a sense of achievement that helps combat negative feelings.

All of these things help benefit your mental health. Along with that, having a pet gives you someone to love and spend your time with. Having a pet gives you a lifelong friend, and you’re helping them just as much as they’re helping you.

Since there are so many different kinds of pets and breeds, how can you choose which pet is the right choice for you? You’ll want to consider how much outdoor and indoor space you have, how active you are and how willing you’d be to change that, how much time you have to spend with your pet, and how much money you have to spend on your pet.

A pet like a dog is going to require more money, time, exercise, and space. Different dog breeds require different things too. If you have time and money, but you don’t have a backyard, then you may not want to get a high-energy dog like a husky. If you want a pet that requires a bit less work, you may think about getting a cat, but you’ll also want to have extra money to spend on vet bills. If you don’t have a lot of extra money, it’s probably a good idea to get something that’s very low maintenance like a fish.

It’s also important to do a lot of research about the animal that you want to get. For example, a lot of people buy rabbits without realizing how much care they need. Some places make it seem like a rabbit will be fine in a cage, but rabbits need lots of space to roam around to be happy. This is why research is so important to make sure that you can truly care for your pet.

Also, remember that it’s important to adopt- not shop. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on getting a pet from a breeder when there are tons of pets at humane societies that need homes. If you are going to buy from a breeder, make sure that you do your research to ensure that they aren’t supporting unethical practices like puppy mills. You may be able to look online to see if there’s anyone near you who has to rehome their pet.

If you can’t have a pet because of where you live or your financial situation, there are ways to get your fix. You can spend time with pets that friends or family have. If you have the time, you can also consider volunteering at a local humane society. This is a great way to help out animals while getting to spend some time with them.

Having a pet is something that will improve your mental health and give you more to do in your life. Many people have pets for good reason. Almost nothing can compare to coming home and having your dog run up to you, or cuddling in bed with your cat who’s purring in your ear. Pets provide extra comfort and security that most of us need in our lives. If you’re ready to get a pet, check out your local humane society and see if one of the animals there is one that you want to make your forever companion.

© 2022 Liz Fe

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