Even though pets, especially dogs and cats have been loved by everyone for years, their true benefit was experienced by most pet owners over the last two years when the pandemic hit. People were stuck in cities or hostels, with nowhere else to go and no one to interact with, but the only thing that kept most people sane was the comfort that they had their pets beside them, even during lockdowns and quarantines.
Even though their benefit has been primarily felt since 2020 onwards, many scientists have already done extensive research on the subject and have successfully proved that pets have an impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.
This doesn’t mean that they’re useful only for people who are suffering from some kind of mental stress and pain, but it also extends to everyone else—we’ll explain further in the course of this article. Happy reading!
1. They’re Great Companions – Even If You Don’t Live Alone
You could live in a dorm full of people and still feel lonely. Similarly, even if you live with your family, you can often feel like you have no one to talk to spend time with, especially since most people are either studying or working from home at the moment.
Over the last two years, an alarming number of people have reported that they feel depressed due to the loneliness of being stuck at home. In situations like these, having a furry friend whom you can play around with, or simply have beside you while you work can greatly influence the way you feel.
Of course, you’ll still need people whom you can talk to and share your troubles with, but having the presence of a pet who loves you unconditionally and follows you around everywhere can impact the way you feel, even if you’re prone to bouts of loneliness and depression.
That’s also the reason why many people who suffer from PTSD and other distressing ailments get an emotional support animal, because it helps them cope better with everyday life.
2. Stress And Anxiety – An All-Time Low
Many colleges and offices now have dogs who live within the premises, just so students and employees can spend some time petting the dogs or even walking them around the campus. This is because studies have shown that petting and playing with animals, specifically dogs, can significantly decrease the anxiety and stress levels of all individuals.
Having dogs in dorms is especially useful around the exam season, because most students who are super stressed can spend some time playing around with the dogs until they feel better.
The same goes for workspaces, where employees are allowed to hang out with the dogs whenever they feel like they need a break. In short, dogs are great mood-boosters and are very helpful to have around on days where you don’t feel your best self.
3. They Make Sure You’re Physically Active
People who live alone often get stuck in a spiral of loneliness, where they either get too depressed to get out of bed, or sometimes just feel lazy and unmotivated to move around when there’s no real purpose driving them. In such instances, having a pet can give you the drive and motivation to force yourself out of bed in the morning, at least to give them food and take them out for a walk.
The hardest step is usually the first step, so once you’ve managed to get out of bed, you’re most likely going to have a productive day where you get at least one task done—which beats doing nothing at all!
For these reasons, having pets, especially during such uncertain times, can be a great benefit to those who live alone, and also those who are struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression.