Getting a pooch has made a huge difference to my emotional and physical wellbeing. Aside from all the other benefits, it has helped me in my healing from loss.
Bonding with my dog has offered companionship when I felt alone, a sense of security and someone to share the routine of my day with.
Research by Vets4Pets has revealed that nearly a third of pet owners in the UK got their pet to help improve their mental wellbeing.
The research has revealed that pet ownership contributes greatly to improvements in wellbeing, with 57% of people experiencing increased happiness, 56% experiencing reductions in stress and anxiety, and 42% becoming more physically active.
Here’s 5 ways a pet can improve your wellbeing:
#1 Stress Soothers. Petting your pet feels good. Research suggests it can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release relaxation hormones, and cuts down on levels of the stress hormone. It also soothes your pet!
#2 Social Magnets. Pets, especially dogs, can help you connect with other people – even when they don’t know you. It’s an acceptable interaction that otherwise would be less likely to happen.
#3 Mood Enhancing. People with pets are reported to be generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. Research suggest they also visit the doctor less often for minor problems.
#4 Getting Outdoors. Pets can act as a motivation, especially dogs, by encouraging their owners to get out and about walking, which has been found to help reduce depression and social isolation, as well as cut down time spent online.
#5 Unconditional love. Pets are non-judgmental, are generally always happy to see and spend time with us, and make us feel needed. So it comes as no surprise they can have an impact on our wellbeing.
A quick word.
Pets can have a great impact on our physical and mental health but they’re also a big commitment. Owning dogs, for example, can be a whole lifestyle to buy into.
It is advisable to do your research. Speak with a local vet to ensure you’re getting the right pet to fit your lifestyle and that you can accommodate their needs.
Over in my Facebook group, Life Beyond Loss, we regularly celebrate our pets. If you’ve been through loss and you would like to connect with a great bunch of people for additional support, you’re welcome to join us (as long as you complete the 3 access questions).