In the past few years, it has become clear there is an undeniable link between our pets and positive mental health. Research polled 1,000 Australian pet owners and found that 94% of people said that their pets help their overall mental health (Companion Animal Network, 2021).
There are so many different ways pets can benefit our mental health and contribute to our lives in a positive way.
Many who live alone or who may spend a lot of time working from home alone find a companion animal beneficial. It makes you feel less alone and especially if you spend all day sitting at a desk, it encourages you to take breaks from your screen, stand up and move around.
Dogs give us an excuse to get out and about, leave the house and get some exercise. Going for a walk or to the dog park for a run around is a great way to get out for some fresh air, move our body and keep up a daily routine.
Caring for an animal gives us a sense of purpose and responsibility every day. We get to feed, walk and play with our pets. Studies have shown spoiling your pet with one-on-one time, grooming them or teaching them some new tricks is just as beneficial for them as it is for your mental health.
De-stress with your cat
One of the most relaxing things for cat owners is the sound of their cat purring in their lap which releases feel good hormones in our bodies that brings about bonding and helps us feel more positive. You can encourage this connection with your cat by laying a soft blanket over your lap. You can also play games with your cat with rattling toys or chasing feathers.
De-stress with your dog
Playing games with your dog can be mentally stimulating for both you and your dog. It is a great way to burn some energy and relieve stress. Once you’re all tuckered out, relaxing on the couch together, patting your dog or even looking into their eyes releases feel good hormones in our bodies that brings about bonding and helps us feel more optimistic.