Pet & Mental Health - Is There A Link?

Reviewed by
Dr.Vikas Khanna 92% (641ratings)
BDS, Certification In Hypnotherapy, Certification In N.L.P, Certification In Gene & Behavior, Psychology At Work, MA ( clinical psychology)
Psychologist, Gurgaon  •  22years experience
Pet & Mental Health - Is There A Link?

Pets can be amazing companions and can help you cope with your life problems. There can be times when you might feel low and lack the motivation to do anything; a pet can change that scenario and bring about a positive change in your life. They keep you engaged and help you take your mind off from various problems in your professional and personal life.

Here are a few reasons why having a pet can significantly improve your mental health:

1. Petting lowers stress levels
Petting your furry friends is a major stress buster. It has been observed that petting a dog or a cat releases the hormone called oxytocin which is associated with lowered anxiety and stress levels. When you connect with your pet and engage yourself in grooming and petting it, it naturally reduces your blood pressure and lowers the level of cortisol, thereby producing a calming effect. 

2. Pets reduce loneliness and isolation
Pets can constantly keep you company if you don't like being lonely. Dogs and cats can make friends easily and due to their intuitive nature, they can sense it when you are feeling low. They refuse to leave you alone and provide you mental support. Pets also help you socialize especially if you take them out for a walk. They help you interact with other pets and their owners.

3. Pets are great listeners and they keep you engaged
Pets can distract you from your problems and stressful situations which plague your mind. You and your furry mate can spend a wonderful time playing games or by simply clicking pictures together. Pets are also good listeners and hence you can vent out your feeling without the fear of being judged. They help you heal and get over certain things which would otherwise be a lot more difficult to overcome.

4. They love you unconditionally and keep you happy
Seeing your pet welcome you after a hard day at work can instantly lift your mood and make you smile. They love you no matter what mistakes you made and keep you energized, positive and motivated. Caring for your pet and reciprocating their love can make you less self-centred and more motivated towards your goals.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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