Having a pet is always a joy. You have someone in your life that makes your life a lot less stressful and a lot easier. Pets, like dogs and cats, have been known to become emotional support pets for many people. Emotional support pets provide comfort to help relieve a symptom or an effect of a person’s physical or mental disability. However, these animals are not considered pets because species do not restrict them, and they are working just like sniffer dogs.
More to the subject, pets have always been a source of positivity in many people’s lives. According to a study, there are 80 million households in the United States that have a pet. It will be no surprise to know that 98% of pet owners consider their pets as family. Studies show that 74% of pet owners reported that there had been significant mental health improvements from pet ownership, while 75% report that a person they love or a friend has shown improvements with their mental health from pet ownership.
This shows that owning a pet can significantly make our mental health better. Depression and anxiety rates are lower with the presence of a household pet, which is why therapists and counselors have recommended it to people who are going through a difficult time with their mental health. Interactions with animals and pets have shown that people can better manage their emotions and troubles.
In 2016, a study was published stating the role of pets in the social networks of people managing their long term mental health issues and found that pets provide a sense of security and routine that they can follow that provides emotional and social support.
Pets have evolved to become attuned to humans and their behaviors and emotions. For example, dogs have been known to understand the words we use but more importantly, dogs are even better at interpreting the tone of our voice, body language, and gestures. What a dog will try to do is to look into your eyes and gauge whether or not you are in a better or worse emotional state.
Another thing to know is that pets such as cats and dogs can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage physical activities, and improve your cardio. Although pets like dogs and cats have great positive benefits for pet owners; however, even other species can reduce a person’s anxieties and stress. Playing with pets has shown to elevate levels of Serotonin and Dopamine, which are chemicals in our brain that help in calming and relaxing us.
One reason for pets having this therapeutic effect on us is because it fulfills our basic human need for touch and affection. Even the most hardened humans who have experienced jail or war have shown long term changes in behavior after interactions with pets as It may be the first time in a long time for some of them to experience mutual affection. Being able to play and touch animals can rapidly help in soothing any stress or anxiety as it also helps ease loneliness.
What matters is that people understand that whatever stress, anxiety, or depression, they are going through a way for them to heal from their pain. A way that does not push their boundaries and a way that can help them without them needing to open up when they are not ready yet.
Our pets can provide us with more than just a companion. Our pets are here to help us through our darkest days when we no longer feel like our best. It is through them that we can realize that affection and love can be good ways of healing from our pains. The best thing to do is to open our hearts to the possibility of our pets changing life as we know it.
No matter the species, no matter the breed, what is important is that our pets give us the help that we need, the help that sometimes we are too afraid to ask for. It can be okay to feel like we are not okay, and it is okay to find your ways to cope, but we have to make sure that the ways we manage are not harmful to us in any way. Unhealthy coping habits can be detrimental to us, and the more we allow ourselves to fall into these patterns. Our pets can help us through the most challenging times, and it is through them, we see that life may be a lot easier than we think.
In times of our greatest hardships, dogs and our pets have always been there to support us even when we do not even expect it.