April is National Pet month and the benefits of owning a pet are widespread - both for our physical and mental health. They offer great companionship and a sense of routine and stability to our otherwise chaotic lives.
Our pets can help us feel less lonely and scared. For some owners, their pet is their only friend and companion, and they feel a strong bond with them. Our pets can also help us meet new people. Walking with a dog often breaks the ice with strangers or talking to a fellow cat lover gives you something in common to talk about straight away.
Pets can be great for children’s mental health, too. Having a family pet can really help when children are feeling upset as it is someone they can talk to if they feel they cannot speak to an adult or friend.
Pets can be more than just pets
A lot of people find they need some extra help either from physical health problems or for their mental health. Guide Dogs for the blind can be someone’s eyes if theirs are failing, or hearing assistance dogs can be someone’s ears.
There are also so many official and unofficial support pets who help their owners in different ways. From offering comfort and emotional support, to warning their owners of serious illnesses. Dogs especially are also a great incentive for physical exercise, which in turn is great for our health and wellbeing. The structure of looking after a pet can also be great for anyone struggling with stress or depression since it gives them a focus point of the day.
Anyone who owns a pet knows that they are part of the family. Sometimes, our pets can be our only family. They are with us at our best and worst times, providing companionship and love whenever we need it.
Our pets can support us through hard times, when we are upset and just need someone there for us. We love our pets, and they accept us just as we are.
If you are considering getting a pet check out https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/all-pets/the-benefits-of-owning-a-pet who can provide advice and support in what needs to be considered for taking on a pet, and is right for you.
We would love to hear how your pet companions help you.
Source of some of this information from the PDSA