One of life’s unsung heroes is our pets. Without them knowing it, pets can drastically improve our mental and emotional health. Now more than ever, we’re aware of how our little friends help us cope during tragic times.

Throw a quarantine bash with your pet.
Throw a quarantine bash with your pet(s). It will probably turn a hard mental health day around.
Photo by Keith Pittman on Unsplash.

Companionship is Key for Maintaining Stable Mental and Emotional Health

Whether you’ve trained your pet to provide emotional support or not, a pet’s sheer presence is companionship.

Like a human friend, pets can detect changes in body language, tone of voice, and gestures. Over time, many domesticated species have become attuned to human emotions and behaviors.

Studies show that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-pet owners because of the mental and emotional support pets give us.

They’re magicians, I tell ya. Little mental health magicians with cute faces and smelly breath.

Your pet wants your mental and emotional health in check!
Your pet wants your mental and emotional health in check!
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

My family has seen this in action with our pets time and time again. Even yesterday my dog, Griffin, was there for me.

I felt anxious, emotionally exhausted, and had a headache. My dog came into my room and stayed there, giving me kisses, until I went to bed.

He almost always goes to bed when my parents do, but not last night. I think he knew I needed a buddy on my rocky mental health day.

You don't have to work on your mental health alone.
You don’t have to work on your mental health alone. Your pet is there for you!
Photo by Serjan Midili on Unsplash.

Caring for a Pet Adds Structure to Your Day

When you bring a pet home, you are making a commitment to them, and yourself.

On days when you can’t bring yourself to do anything else, know that at least you took care of your pet. And that is an accomplishment your self-esteem and little friend will appreciate!

Everybody needs taking care of, no matter how big or small. Try to carve out some time for self-care alongside your pet’s daily routine so you can be in a healthier state of mind.

Give yourself mental and emotional rest with your pet! You and your health deserve it.
Give yourself mental and emotional rest with your pet! You deserve it.
Photo by Vicki Sim on Unsplash.

Touching Pets Improves Our Mental Health With “Sensory Stress Relief”

The term sensory stress relief is a fancy way of saying, “managing stress with touch and movement.”

When you’re cuddling your pet, you scientifically reduce stress. Studies show, spending as little as ten minutes petting a cat or dog lowers cortisol levels and leaves you with positive emotions.

Over time, your physical, mental, and emotional health will improve thanks to a pet’s affection.

There’s a reason dogs regularly visit nursing homes and colleges. More pets for them means less stress for you.

Make like this pet pig and take care of your mental health! Snooze if you need to.
Make like this pet pig and snooze if you need to. Your mental health needs to recharge too!
Photo by Jon Butterworth on Unsplash.

The way pets can improve our mental health is often hard to put into words, and these three reasons are just the tip of the iceberg.

Even though we do so much for them by giving them a home, feeding, and loving them, they will always do more for us.

How has your pet helped your mental health?