We all know one of the simplest joys in life is the love of a pet. Whether you have a cat, dog or any kind of pet, there is nothing quite like the loyalty and love of an animal. But have you ever considered the mental health and wellbeing benefits of pets?


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Health Benefits of Pets

Someone walking a corgi with trainers on.

Having a pet can have amazing health benefits. Pets such as dogs and cats are very good at understanding and interpreting our emotions and behaviour. As a result of this, just the presence of pets has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness. All of this comes from the loyalty and comfort they provide just by reading your body language and behaviour in different situations, and obviously the loyalty and love they offer. These health benefits are all down to pets being able to provide the need for touch that humans crave.

Lifestyle Benefits of Pets

Woman doing yoga with a cat

Not only can having a pet have health benefits, but they also have great lifestyle benefits. One of the main lifestyle benefits is that the encourage exercise, whether that's taking your dog for a walk, or playing with your cat or rabbit. Animals that are active tend to encourage the same behaviour in people, making or keeping them healthy.

Along with this, they also help with companionship and structure in day-to-day life. Companionship can prevent depression, isolation and loneliness. This paired with pets encouraging exercise, they can help you to meet new people. Obviously, pets need feeding, and this can help provide structure to your days if this is something that is affecting you. By knowing you need to be out of bed and starting your day for a certain time to feed and care for your pets can help balance not only your mood but your pet's mood too.

Alternative Types of Pets

Rabbit, lizard and a parrot

When it comes to thinking about pets, your first thought is probably of dogs and cats. Whilst they are the most popular, not everyone wants a dog or a cat. Some people might even be allergic to them. There are loads of options out there and some of them even have different health benefits to cats and dogs.

Rabbits

One option is rabbits. Whilst they are generally very adorable, they are also low maintenance but offer similar benefits to other furry animals. They do not require a lot of space and other than feeding are quite happy to entertain themselves. Like cats and dogs though, cuddling and playing with a rabbit can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

Reptiles & Fish

Reptiles and fish are also good alternative pets, especially if you are allergic to furry animals. They require even less space than rabbits and are also low maintenance and quiet, where other pets tend to be a bit noisier. Fish and reptiles can provide that structure we mentioned previously, by making sure they are fed and cared for at certain times of the day.

Having a pet can be really beneficial to mental health, well being and life in general. Just remember that pets are for life, and deserve the same love and care that they give us. So make sure a pet can fit into your life before picking one out.


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