Mental health conditions can be debilitating, and for some people, medications and therapy may not be enough. Some find that having a pet can help improve their mental health. Pets provide companionship, love, and support, which can help those with mental health conditions feel less alone and more connected to the world. Owning a pet can also provide opportunities for exercise and socialization, both of which are beneficial for mental health. If you are struggling with a mental health condition, consider adopting or rescuing a pet. The benefits of owning a pet may be just what you need to improve your mental health.
Both public and private animal shelters will require a copy of the ESA documentation, where licensed professionals state your need for an emotional support pet.
How pets can help you make a healthy lifestyle change
- Pets provide companionship, love, and support which can help people feel less alone and more connected to the world.
- Owning a pet can also provide opportunities for exercise and socialization, both of which are beneficial for mental health.
- If you are struggling with a mental health condition, consider adopting or rescuing a pet. The benefits of owning a pet may be just what you need to improve your mental health.
- Your pet can also help motivate you to make healthy lifestyle changes — getting enough exercise and following a nutritious diet.
- Pets help lessen the negative effects of stress, such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. When you feel stressed out or anxious, try spending some time with your pet or playing with your pet. Ask the doctor about pets and mental health.
How Pets Help With Overcoming Loneliness
Having a friend to come home to at the end of the day can improve your mood and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Pets can also help you stay active, encouraging you to get outside and meet people in the community. The more social connections you have, the less likely you are to feel lonely or isolated and spending time with other people is good for your mental health.
Pets Provide Unconditional Love
The commitment to owning a pet goes both ways. Your pet needs you just as much as you need him or her. When you adopt a pet, you enter into a two-way relationship where your actions impact the other person’s life. Pets rely on their owners for food, shelter, and love; they offer companionship in return. Unconditional love can make you feel valuable and essential, beneficial for your mental health.
Pets Can Help Relieve Stress
Stress can be harmful to your mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety or depression. Pets can help you relieve stress by providing companionship and love. Stroking a pet’s fur or playing with them can help lower your heart rate and release feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin. Pets can also help you take your mind off of things causing you stress, providing a sense of calm and relaxation.
When considering whether to get a pet, consider the many ways they can benefit your mental health. Pets offer companionship, love, support, exercise, social opportunities, motivation to make healthy choices, and unconditional love. If you are struggling with a mental health condition, consider adopting or rescuing a pet—you may find that having an animal friend can make all the difference in your mood and well-being.
How to Find the Perfect Pet
Step1- Consider what type of pet you would like.
Do you want a cat, a dog, or another type of animal? Some people may be hesitant to get a dog because of the commitment involved, such as taking them on walks each day. If you are not sure what type of pet you would like, visit a local animal shelter and meet some animals there.
Step2- Consider your lifestyle.
Are you a busy person who does not have a lot of time for walks? Maybe a smaller pet, like a cat, is better for you. Do you want to be able to take your pet with you on trips? Then you may want to consider a dog.
Step3- Consider your living situation.
If you live in an apartment, you may not be able to have a large dog. Some apartments do not allow pets at all. If this is the case, consider a smaller pet like a fish, hamster, or bird.
Step4- Consider your allergies.
If you are allergic to cats, dogs, or other animals, you may want to reconsider getting a pet. Even if you can touch or hold a pet without any problems, they still may trigger your allergies when you spend time with them each day.
Step5- Consider your budget.
Some pets require more expensive care than others. Fish and hamsters, for example, do not require much in the way of supplies, but dogs and cats do. You will also need to buy food, toys, and veterinary care for your pet. Make sure you can afford to take care of your new pet before you adopt or purchase one.
Step 6- Prepare for your pet.
Not all pets can be left alone for hours during the day. Cats, for example, cannot easily be left by themselves outside because they could get into trouble or become injured. If you work full-time and will not be able to care for a pet during the day, consider adopting an older animal who may need less attention.
Step 7- Prepare your home.
Some pets may require certain supplies or areas in your house to be off-limits, such as food or toys. Make sure you are ready to make your home pet-friendly before you bring a new companion into the house.
If you are considering getting a pet, take some time to consider what type of pet you would enjoy having. Make a list of pros and cons to help you decide, then research how much a pet will cost and the amount of time it will take to care for it. Prepare your home, budget, and schedule for your new companion before adopting or purchasing one.
Pets can be a great source of companionship and comfort for people with mental health conditions. They can provide unconditional love, support, and relief from stress.