Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
Who’s your Snuggle Muffin? …. Your Fuzz Nubbins? …. Your Tater Tot? If you have one, you know who I’m talking about. That little bucket of snuggles and sloppy kisses called ‘pet’. Our little furry friends are the ones we share our greatest joys with and brighten our days when we are feeling down. It probably won’t surprise you to discover that pet ownership has real mental health benefits. Here are few:
Daily walks, snuggle time, and grooming - tending to your pet’s daily needs helps you maintain regular rhythms and healthy practices that contribute to your own mental health as much as theirs.
Even though my dog is a different species, she is a ‘member of our family’. We experience real connection with our pets, and they provide us with companionship. Studies have shown that people who own pets report feeling ‘less lonely.’
Enjoying time outside with your dog or finding a sunny spot on the couch with your cat can reduce stress. Interacting with your pet lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol and raises levels of serotonin and dopamine - the ‘happy hormones’.
In your pets’ eyes, you really are the GOAT! Your four-legged friend doesn’t care how well you performed on your test or that you lost your cool at the check-out counter. They simply want to be with you, and there is no denying the transforming and comforting power of that kind of presence and love.
If you’re in the happy camp of pet ownership, take a moment to appreciate your furry and feathered friends and express your gratitude with a big hug and a pat on the head - it’ll be good for both of you.