Some say that pets are like family members! They require love, attention and nurturing, however pets give back to their owners in many significant ways. Pets provide positive mental health support through emotional work and practical work. Your pet can provide emotional support by alleviating your worries, stress and depression. Have you noticed they always know when you are feeling sad or upset, and come up to cuddle or play? The practical work that it takes to take care of your pet is helpful to provide a routine in your daily life, which has a great impact on pet parents with mental health conditions.
The Human Bond Research Institute (HABI) found that pets contribute to a stronger sense of identity in their pet owners and reduced negative perceptions of a mental health condition. HABI also found that pets provide a sense of security and routine in relationships, therefore reinforcing stable cognition. For those that experience distressing symptoms such as hearing voices, suicidal thoughts and rumination, pets provide a disruption and distraction to the above thoughts. So next time you are feeling down or need a moment, interact with your pet for a couple minutes to relax and unwind!