5 Ways Pets Relieve Depression

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5 Ways Pets Relieve Depression February 28th, 2017

5 Ways Pets Relieve Depression

Could petting your furry friend or watching your cat play outside the yard possibly help relieve depression? Well, experts say it might. Pets offer unconditional love and are easier to communicate with. This proves to be especially useful for people who suffer from depression and anxiety. Studies have proven that animals can improve mood, reduce tension and help with mood swings. Fortunately, your pet can help in a number of ways. With proper treatment, pets can provide comfort and support to patients suffering from mild or moderate depression. Here are 5 notable ways pets relieve depression:

1. Responsibility

Taking care of your pet might seem difficult and some individuals may argue that there is no point in burdening yourself with more responsibility. However, experts claim that adding a little bit of responsibility might just help. Taking care of a pet creates a sense of purpose in one’s life.  Patients suffering from debilitating diseases are happy to take on the role of a pet owner and are pleased that they are able to make a positive impact on somebody’s life – may it be a four-legged friend. Elderly patients can also benefit from pets as the experience gives them a sense of their own importance and value. Taking ownership of a task such as adopting a pet boosts self-esteem and increases self-worth.

2. Better Health

Research has found that owning a pet can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and boost levels of feel-good chemicals in your brain.  Individuals agree that there is something naturally soothing about cuddling a cat or petting a dog. Spending time with your pet releases a chemical known as endorphin. This results in a calming effect that helps lower stress levels. This especially benefits people suffering from depression and anxiety. Additionally, taking your little buddy out for walks and petting your furry friend offers anti-stress benefits by promoting the release of a hormone called oxytocin.

3. A New Perspective

Spending time with a pet can give you brand new perspective on life. Dog owners are especially aware of the benefits of adopting a puppy for relieving tension and depression. Pets love their owners unconditionally and are always happy to see them after a long day of work. Coming home to an eager pet can help you look at the world in a positive light – reducing the risk of depression.

4. Unconditional Love and Acceptance

Two Cute Little Sisters And A DogPet owners can spend time with their beloved pets without worrying about being judged. Pets offer love and support, which prevents people from feeling lonely and isolated. Sometimes even a pet’s calming presence and work wonders on the mind. Studies have shown that pet owners have significantly lower heart rate and blood pressure while performing stressful tasks and are less likely to feel anxious. Additionally, owning a pet promotes involves physical interaction as well, which is effective for reducing depression and stress. Hugging your pet causes the body to release oxytocin, a hormone that is popularly known for reducing blood pressure and heart rate.

5. A Pleasant Distraction

Taking your dog out for a walk may temporarily distract you and keep your mind off things that are upsetting you. In this way, pets often act like riveting books and movies that will provide you temporary relief and comfort from all that is happening around you. In this way, pets are able to help patients recover from traumatic experiences and depression.

Animals are now being increasingly used for pet therapy to relieve depression and anxiety. In fact, people are now adopting Emotional Support Animals. Browse through our website to learn more about ESAs.