For dog and cat owners, pets are an incredibly important part of the daily routine. Just like us, they need food, water, regular exercise, and socialisation. We all love our furry friends, but have you ever stopped to think about how much of an impact they have on your life? They help us probably about as much as we help them! Read on to find out 5 mental health benefits of owning a pet!
Loneliness and mental health problems are strongly linked, and one can definitely exacerbate the other. Cats and dogs make fantastic companions, with cat and dog owners said to feel much less lonely than others. Pets love you unconditionally, and that affection can go a long way in helping with mental health problems. Talking to your pet can be healthy too, and could make interaction with other people easier in general!
Exercise has been proven to have a strong link with improving mental health – and we all know how much pets love being active! Cats and dogs both need stimulation, and they’ll want you to play with them regularly. Pooches in particular need daily walks, which can help to increase your mental alertness, energy and positive mood, while reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Regular exercise also has physical health benefits, helping to keep your heart healthy!
Having a pet can increase your interactions with other, like-minded people too! Dog owners in particular are more likely to meet and chat with new people. Whether it’s a one-off interaction with another dog owner at the park, or longer lasting friendships with people in your local area, chances are you’ll be more sociable if you own a dog!
On a basic level, pets satisfy the human need for touch and physical contact. Simply petting and stroking your canine companion or feline friend can help to lower your blood pressure, leaving you feeling calmer, less stressed. It can even ease symptoms of anxiety. Playing with your pet can decrease production of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase levels of the stress-reducing oxytocin in your body, helping you feel calmer and more relaxed!
The great part about owning a pet is that none of these benefits are short-term fixes! The combination of companionship, routine, stress relief and sociability can help people manage long-term mental health issues. Your furry friends can help provide a distraction from symptoms of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and improve both your mental and physical wellbeing in the long run.
Are you the proud owner of a dog or cat? Chances are you’ll have experienced some, if not all of these benefits yourself! If you do have a dog or cat, you might want to think about pet insurance, in case anything unforeseen happens. At The Insurance Emporium, our Pet Insurance policies include cover for up to £8,000 in Vet’s Fees* as a Standard Benefit. We also offer up to 30% discount^ on new policies! Head on down to The Insurance Emporium to find out more!
* Cover up to £8,000 available on lunar and calendar monthly Lifetime Gold policies.
^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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