Giving a pet a loving home helps them thrive, and there’s something amazing about the bond you’ll develop with a furry companion. While your pet will be happy to spend time in a loving environment, you’ll also notice that you feel happier and experience a greater sense of life satisfaction with them around each day. The decision to bring home a pet provides these three powerful benefits for boosting your mental health.
1- Feel the Benefits of Caring for Your Pet
People with mental health conditions such as depression tend to do best when they have more structure to their day. Waking up to feed your pet gives you a reason to get out of bed, and you just know that your pet isn’t going to let you get out of your evening walk. Scheduling vet visits and other types of care also helps you to have things to look forward to on your calendar. You’ll begin to learn more about pet care, which stimulates neural connections in your brain and boosts those feel-good endorphins that your body needs to maintain positive emotions. As you watch your pet grow and thrive, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and pride for doing what you can to make their life better.
2- Start Expanding Your Social Life
Loneliness dramatically lowers your mental wellness, and there are various times in your life when you may find it harder to make friends. Senior adults often struggle with getting enough socialization after retirement, and you may need to make an effort to fill your time each day. College students and other adults living in a new area might experience social anxiety and be unsure of how to meet new people when they can no longer rely upon the friends they made in their former neighborhood. Having a pet gives you an instant way to connect with other people. You might find that you strike up a conversation with someone that you meet as you take your pet for a walk, or you may suddenly meet a new friend in your pet training class. Meeting new people who also love animals gives you a starting point for developing friendships that foster better mental health.
3- Experience Unconditional Love
Your dog or cat doesn’t care if you are having a bad hair day. They’re also forgiving of all of those other little things that make you self-conscious. All your pet needs is food, water, general health care and plenty of attention. Seeing your pet get excited as you walk through your door gives you a sense of belonging that makes every hardship in life seem more manageable. If you’ve lost a loved one or experienced a break up, then hearing your cat purr or watching your dog’s tail wag reminds you that you are still needed by your pet who loves you unconditionally.
As you get to know your pet, you’ll naturally begin to develop a connection that lets you know when they are feeling sad or sick. Your pet will also pick up on the times when you need them to hop into your lap or lay at your feet for emotional support. Whether its love at first sight or you need some time to learn your pet’s habits, you’ll soon find yourself smiling more and looking forward to each new day that you get to spend with your furry friend.