We have all heard that “dogs are a man’s best friend,” but this old saying might actually be based on scientific evidence. More and more pets, not just dogs, are being used as a form of therapy. Pets can have a positive impact on mental health, including relieving depression and loneliness as well as promoting self-esteem.
Pets allow us to have responsibilities and become more empathetic. Responsibility helps give us a sense of purpose and value. A pet also offers routine and structure, which can provide us with a way of staying on track, getting out of bed and exercising regularly.
Research shows that people feel better when they have physical contact with others, and having a pet can offer a similar effect; even just petting a dog can lower heart rate.
The most obvious benefit a pet can bring to our lives is unconditional love. A pet can become your greatest companion, someone that you can talk to about anything. They will always be happy to see you and ready to shower you with attention.
If owning your own pet isn’t an option now, volunteering at an animal shelter is another way to enjoy the same benefits.
So whether it is a cat, dog, fish or pig, taking care of a pet can become more valuable to you than you originally thought. It is a great way to build self-esteem, empathy and responsibility.