Pets And Your Mental Health | Pip Milburn

There is no denying that pets are great for mental health, but not just for adults – for children too. From the gentleness of horses to the walks and peace you can find with dogs. There have long been reports of how positive the effects of pets on mental health is. 

Animal Therapy

Early in the 1990s, there were many programs that incorporated equine therapy as part of their bid to improve mental health in teens. As well as for children who have different neurological issues. The link between horses and humans runs deep. While horses are incredibly large animals, they use their power gracefully, and people believe they can sense how a person needs to be approached. It makes sense then that when people have a horse themselves, they are treated to the most beautiful rugs, pastures and housing from Vale Stables

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Stress

Simply interacting with your pet can lower your stress levels. Playing with kittens of puppies is excellent for children and adults alike. It allows people to play, which is something we often don’t do as we age. For adult dogs, stroking their fur or going for a walk, even for ten minutes can reduce stress levels significantly. All of these interactions increase the release of happiness hormones. 

Not to mention the typically love a good hug, and those are great for people too. 

Needed

There are times in life when you can feel like you are obsolete, or that no one is really around. But your pet will always need you. And it isn’t just because they want someone to feed them, pets typically hold their owners in high esteem. This is especially great for the elderly, as they can spend a lot of time alone. There have been previous studies where they compared the mental health of the elderly who had pets, and those that did not. They found that the participants who had the pet had reduced depression and loneliness. 

Mindfulness

Cats and dogs live in the now. They don’t dwell on what happened yesterday, and they don’t consider tomorrow. They can give you the gift of mindfulness too. Because when you are interacting with them, that is all you are doing. Watching the things that they do, how they play, and of course, giving them those all-important belly rubs keeps you just in that moment. 

Healthy Habits

If you have ever had periods of low energy, a lack of concentration or the inability to get up and face the day a pet will put that to rest. There is no room not to give them their breakfast, you can’t refuse their beautiful faces when they (and you) need some contact. If you have a more active pet, you will find yourself heading out on walks, getting up at a reasonable time. When you feed and water your pet – it will often encourage you to do the same for yourself. 

Of course, there is more to a pet that just this, but it is excellent to know how much good can come from the family pet. 

*This is a collaboration post

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