Pets can be an enriching part of our lives and often become like another family member. Pets can often be great to have around when children are small, as the child and the pet can grow up together as friends.
Grieving the loss of a pet can seem challenging, but remembering the good times you shared can be a cathartic experience. Some people take a long time to decide whether to have another pet, whereas others opt for one almost immediately to help mend their heartbreak.
The routine of owning a pet and caring for them can positively impact our physical and mental health. Think of the daily routine that dog owners have where they walk their pets every day, no matter the weather. The need to exercise their pet increases the owner’s overall fitness and helps to stave off poor mental health through exercise. We have taken a closer look at the health benefits of pet ownership below.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Pets can significantly reduce anxiety and stress. One of the most relaxing sounds is that of cats purring. We have yet to understand why they purr entirely, and more research is underway to understand our feline friends better.
There have even been some studies into the frequency of purring by cats to assess their health benefits. Cats purr within the frequency range of 25hz to 150hz, which is the exact frequency that can promote increased bone density and hasten the speed of healing. More studies need to be done to prove without a doubt that having cats can aid your health or recovery from injury, but it seems possible.
Increases Social Interaction
Taking a dog for a walk can often increase social interaction levels and reduce loneliness. People often greet fellow dog walkers and have pleasant conversations with them. This can be invaluable to people who have maybe been feeling socially isolated, and it is a good reason for older people to have a pet.
Aside from all of the other benefits in terms of companionship and support that they provide themselves, pets can also help their owners form new human connections. There are countless tales from around the world about people who met and fell in love while walking their dogs. The connections that we can foster from such activities are real and many.
Promotes Physical Health
The physical need to walk a dog every day for both their health and to allow them to answer the call of nature means that owning a dog will usually improve the owner’s health as well.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, and walking with a dog can definitely make it a much more fun time. Many of the larger dog breeds need a considerable walk every single day, so we may assume that the health benefits may be more significant than with smaller dogs. The sense of well-being and endorphin release that comes from sustained walking can also help with mental health.
Provides Emotional Support
Pets can be a great comfort and support in times of grief or hardship. They may not know what is happening with their human, but they often try to be near them and comfort them. It is only anecdotal, but cats and dogs understand when humans need comfort and often do their best to act on this.
When people are grieving, having a pet around gives them something to focus their love and affection on. The fact that the furry friends don’t understand what is happening but do their best to help nonetheless endears them even further.