May 3rd-9th is National Pet Week. Also, the entire month of May is Mental Health Awareness month. Owning a pet comes with various benefits. Pets are not only fun companions, but they positively impact your mental and emotional health. Pets, in a nutshell, enrich lives. We’re sure that you show your pet a lot of love. But during National Pet Week and the entire month of May, we encourage you to show extra love to your canine companion or feline friend and reflect on the ways that they have added meaning to your life. Here are a few emotional and mental benefits of owning a pet.
Emotional Benefits of Owning a Pet
One of the most significant emotional benefits of owning a pet is that pets make their owners feel needed and wanted. Caretaking helps give a person a sense of purpose and meaning. Pets also help with loneliness and depression. In a 2016 study, researchers gave older adults five crickets in a cage to take care of over eight weeks. Researchers compared them to a control group that did not receive any crickets. Researchers found that the participants who participated in caretaking became less depressed than those who did not.
Also, psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University conducted three studies relating to the benefits of owning a pet. What they found in all three studies is that pet owners improved in well-being in areas such as:
- Being More Extroverted
- Feeling Less Lonely
- Feeling Less Fearful
- Having Higher Self-Esteem
Mental Health and Pets
Many studies show that pets reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and remind pet owners to live in the moment versus worrying about the past and future. Pets, in particular, also benefit those who have mental illnesses such as bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, and PTSD. In 2016, researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom conducted a study involving 54 participants with these mental illnesses. They found that 60% of the participants considered pets to be a part of their support circle. Almost 50% of the participants also stated that pets helped them manage their illness and everyday lives. Pets gave them a sense of control, security, and routine.
Ways That You Can Celebrate Your Furry Friend During National Pet Week and Mental Health Awareness Month
- Take a picture with your pet(s) and use the hashtag #NationalPetWeek or #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth
- Comment on our Facebook page and let us know how much your pet(s) mean to you!
- Pamper, cuddle with, and do outside activities with your pet(s) (while social distancing, of course).
- Share this blog!
- Research more about mental health, share your findings, and always partake in self-care.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!