Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Dogs have been man’s best friend for centuries, but what people consider a pet has changed. Learn more about the benefits of animal and human bonding.

Since the age of Ancient Egypt, humans and animals have cohabitated with one another in a relationship beyond food and convenience, and for a good reason. Owning a pet can be great for the mind and body, regardless of age. If you’ve never owned an animal or are thinking of getting one, learn about the mental health benefits of owning a pet and how they can help improve your life.

Helps With Loneliness

Owning a pet can help people who live alone feel less isolated. Knowing that there’s another living thing that cares about you and depends on you can mitigate the feeling of seclusion. In addition, if you can care for a dog or cat, breeds like the Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian, ragdoll cat, and Maine coon are all affectionate breeds.

Having an animal that wants to play and be near you can make you feel more wanted and happier.

Reduces Depression

Mental health professionals often say that owning a pet can give people a reason to get up in the morning. Having to feed and consistently take care of another living thing can help give you the mental fortitude you need to continue taking care of them and taking care of yourself. When you bond with something, you want to take care of yourself to continue taking care of your beloved animal.

This isn’t limited to dogs and cats either, as some people can’t take care of animals that move a lot and need a lot of exercise. In addition, some smaller animals, like hamsters and hedgehogs, require a lot of care and routine. Owning an aquarium also has a lot of health benefits and requires consistent checking.

Keeps Your Brain and Memory Active

Having to keep up with a schedule for your pet can keep your brain sharp. In addition, teaching your pet tricks and commands is good for their brain and yours. It provides the stimulation and thought that your brain needs to strengthen neuron pathways. Routine is especially essential to keep your mind from becoming dulled and is excellent for Alzheimer’s patients.

While these are a few of the many mental health benefits of owning a pet, knowing what an animal’s love can do for you, even in its most basic forms, can provide you with the joy and hope to continue to stay strong and take care of yourself.

If you feel like you or your loved one isn’t able to safely care for an animal, but you still want them to have the interaction, there are emotional support animals that can visit the home. Either way, connecting with a furry, spiky, slimy, or scaly friend can benefit your overall well-being.