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The Benefit Of Pets On Mental Health

Having animals in your home can be so beneficial to your mental health in so many ways. I’m sure there are plenty of studies on the subject that explain all about the endorphins released when you are petting an animal and the science behind it, but purely from experience and opinion alone, it’s easy to see a marked positive impact on my mental health and that of others  around me with animals around.

The benefits outweigh the loss

I personally have 3 dogs and a rabbit. I used to have many more, quite the zoo, including 6 guinea pigs and a hamster, but due to old age over the last couple of years, we have lost our guinea pigs and our little hamster. Loss is the hardest part of having pets, especially on mental health once you have become so attached and they become part of the family, but the benefits far outweigh the loss.

They provide so much comfort

Having a pet, whatever suits you, your budget, capability and lifestyle whether that be small animals, cats or dogs, can be so rewarding. I find it incredibly comforting when I’m having down days to always have someone to cuddle up with and get love from, even when my husband is at work. My dogs seem to know when I’m having a hard day and are much more attentive which I really appreciate. Apart from that, seeing how cute they are every day is impossible not to smile at, even when I’m having the worst day.

They are so calming when I’m stressed, to just lie with them and pet them in silence is a connection that I think you often can’t have with another human. There’s no need to speak to say how you are feeling, they just seem to know and to be there for you.

They are great to help maintain routine

Having them to care for is a great motivator and really helps with my routine also. Knowing that they need to be fed, cleaned out depending on the pet, and walked when it comes to my dogs at certain times of the day keeps me busy; even if I wasn’t going to get up and do something for myself, I have to be there for them and my love for them is motivation enough. On the same note with the dogs, it means that I have to get out of the house to walk them every day, and sometimes that bit of fresh air alone is enough to lift my mood just enough to allow me to feel a little lighter for a while.

I can’t imagine my life without my animals, they really do light up my days and are a huge part of my life. I truly don’t think I would be here without my dogs as they have kept me going and kept me company through the darkest of days; they bring me joy every day no matter what.

The Benefit Of Pets On Mental Health


Ann-Marie D'Arcy-Sharpe

I am 32 years old. I live in Glasgow, Scotland UK with my husband and lots of lovely pets. I battle with Bipolar Disorder, fibromyalgia and arthritis. You can find my fitness blog here and you can also follow me on Twitter, here.


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APA Reference
D'Arcy-Sharpe, A. (2019). The Benefit Of Pets On Mental Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-journey/2019/07/the-benefit-of-pets-on-mental-health/

 

Last updated: 5 Jul 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.