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The Mental Health Benefits of Owning Pets

The Mental Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Animals have a calming effect on people. Many people say that simply cuddling their dog has a soothing effect, helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. The benefits of owning a dog are plentiful – a furry companion can boost your mood, ease symptoms of mental health illness, decrease feelings of loneliness and hopelessness, and improve your well-being.

Can Dogs Sense Depression?

Dogs can sense depression. Chronic stress and depression are linked to low serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels in the brain. These are the neurotransmitters responsible for mood and feelings related to pleasure.

Research shows that patients with major depression often have increased levels of monoamine oxidase A. This enzyme breaks down serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, resulting in deficient levels of these neurotransmitters.

Dogs can smell a surge of hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) caused by stress or a drop in hormones when we feel depressed, sensing our emotions. When they sense depression, many dogs respond by acting differently toward their owners – they sit beside them or put a head on a person’s lap to show support.

Do Dogs Forget People?

People who have to leave their furry friends for more prolonged periods often worry whether a dog will forget them. The answer is no. Studies show that dogs don’t forget their owners even after the long separation. The longer you have been away, the happier your dog will be when you return! Dogs use both smell and (even more) sight to recognize their owners. So, as long as your dog has healthy eyesight, he will remember you.

How Do Dogs Help Anxiety and Depression?

A dog’s company can lift your mood and make you feel less stressed, worried, or sad. Many dog owners say their pets have a soothing effect, helping them feel supported, composed, and more optimistic.

Moreover, psychiatric service dogs are trained to sense anxiety or panic attacks even before their handler becomes aware of it.

Service, therapy, and emotional support dogs can help kids and adults manage symptoms of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD), autism, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

A dog will also motivate you to get out of the house for their walks daily, which can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

What is the Friendliest Small Pet?

Guinea Pig is considered one of the friendliest small pets. They are small and gentle, less likely to bite than hamsters. They are also very friendly – as long as you hold them correctly, Guinea pigs won’t mind being handled. For this reason, Guinea pigs are great pets for small children. They have a relatively long lifespan of five to seven years.

What is the Easiest Exotic Pet to Own?

Bearded dragons are one of the easiest exotic pets to own. They are small, entertaining, and naturally laid-back. These friendly lizards are an excellent pet choice for a novice reptile owner as they are easy to handle. They are gentle and easy to hold.

Because they don’t grow big like some other lizards, bearded dragons can be kept in small spaces.

Beardies rarely bite, only when they are agitated (typically when they are not happy with the way you are handling them).

Adult animals can go days or even weeks without eating. However, young bearded dragons cannot survive without proper daily nutrition.

What are the Friendliest Pets?

It is not a secret that owning a pet can have many benefits for our mental health and physical well-being. Animals can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, lower your blood pressure and improve your immune system.

Pets have a significant role in a child’s development. Having a pet can teach kids essential skills such as responsibility, emotional control, and empathy. Pets can improve a child’s self-esteem, boost stress management, and teach kids how to express emotions.

However, some animals are naturally friendliest than others. Here are some of the most affectionate animals to have as pets.

  1. Dogs: Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” because of their loyalty, affection, and soothing effects their presence has on humans. Like people, dogs have strong needs for socialization and love, so they want to bond and accept.Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, and Irish Seter are considered the friendliest dog breeds.
  2. Cats: Although some people consider cats cold and reserved, this is actually far from the truth. Cats are actually quite friendly, but they show affection much differently than dogs. They will show affection by snuggling or rubbing up against you, purring, sitting on your lap, or following you around.
  3. Rabbits: Rabbits are fun and friendly pets that can be as loyal as dogs or cats. However, these bouncy pets are specific about how they like to be handled. For instance, they prefer to be cuddled while on your lap or on the ground instead of being picked up.
  4. Horses: While you obviously cannot keep a horse in the house, they make great pets if you have the resources to keep them as pets. Horses are very affectionate animals who enjoy humans’ company, making great emotional support animals to their owners. Horses are known for their ability to sense humans’ emotions, so they can help you relax, cope with stress, and ease anxiety and depression.

What is the Lowest Maintenance Pet?

Many people who have busy lives but still want to own a pet may find one among the following low-maintenance animals:

  1. Birds
  2. Guinea pigs
  3. Hamsters
  4. Goldfish
  5. Lizards
  6. Cats

What is the Best Pet for Beginners?

If you are looking to get the first pet, either for your child or yourself, here are some animals that can be excellent options for first-time owners:

  1. Guinea pigs
  2. Gerbils
  3. Parakeet
  4. Turtles
  5. Lizards
  6. Fish

Raising a pet has several benefits for kids’ development. Research has shown that pets can help introverts and shy kids come out of the shell. Companion animals can help children on the autism spectrum, improving their communication skills, helping them cope with anxiety, and feel happier.