Pets are often treated as extra work. And that’s not entirely false, pets do require work and responsibility. You need to take care of them, feed them, address their needs- but it’s not for naught. Having pets and other furry friends with you can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Especially if you’re struggling with mental health issues.
But if you’re not convinced, here are some reasons having pets can actually help you.
Helps Improve Your Mood
After a long tiring day, the last thing anyone wants is more stress. And pets are one of the best ways to de-stress. They’re happy the moment they see you (and although cats won’t show it, they’re happy you’re there), and they express love and joy as soon as you arrive. Nothing beats going home to a dog wagging its tail, happy that you’re finally back. Or a cat purring and rubbing on your leg, showing their joy that you’ve returned.
Pets improve our mood, they can easily change the atmosphere from a tense one to a light-hearted one. And if you want to escape the stresses of work and outside life, coming home to your furry friends is one of the best ways to get away from it.
Teaches You Responsibility
Being with a pet requires having a schedule. It means waking up at a consistent time every morning to feed them, cleaning after them, and exercising with them. There are other things you’d have to do on a schedule if you have pets. Regular grooming, trips to the vet, shopping for them, it’s almost like you have a child with you! And this isn’t a negative thing, mind you.
There are many anecdotes of people claiming that their beloved furry friend saved their lives because, in moments where they don’t feel like getting up from their bed, their pet is there to let them know it’s mealtime. It helps you establish a routine that revolves around taking care of your pet, which has a ripple effect on your own life too. Without fully realizing it, you’ll also be creating a schedule for yourself, going out of the house, exercising, getting groceries for you and your pet, and talking to people (even if it’s mostly just about your dog or cat).
Gives You a Reason to Go Out
As mentioned, you’ll need to give your dog or cat some exercise to make sure they are healthy. Taking them out for a walk, or bringing them to the yard for some zoomies not only promotes an active lifestyle for them but also for you. If your little rascal has too much energy and likes to run around a little too much, this is also an effective way for you to let them release that excess energy. As a responsible pet owner, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced puppy trainer so your pets won’t grow up spoiled and difficult to deal with. Running with them or doing activities with them can help you create a bond with them.
You Have Someone Who Empathizes with You
Pets are among the best listeners known to humans. They can listen to hours of venting, and sometimes even showing reactions of concern and empathy. They can be a shoulder to lean on or even emotional support for moments when you feel the most alone. And this empathy doesn’t just extend from your pets to you. It also teaches you to be more empathetic to others around you. People often believe that we should teach our pets to help them behave better, but in this instance, our pets can teach us to be better instead.
Daily Dose of Fun and Laughter
Pets are goofy and they’ll always give you reasons to laugh out loud. No matter what mess they make, they somehow end up making you feel happy. Moments like getting stuck in a box, or futilely chasing the neighborhood birds, or even acting out the occasional human-like behavior- these are all moments to laugh at and be happy about. Having pets around immediately increases the chances of funny things happening, and if you’re looking for ways to frown less or worry less, your pets can help you with that.
Everyone understands that pets are tough to work with. But that tough work is rewarded by love and a deep connection only other pet owners can understand. If you’re feeling alone, try visiting the local shelter. There’s a dog or a cat there waiting for you to give them a home, and in return, they’ll give you their undying love and support.