Is Your Pet Good For You?
The answer is yes.
If you have any kind of pet, even a guinea pig it can have a positive affect on your state of mind and wellbeing. Friendly well behaved pets, ok so some of our pets can be cute terrors at times, are known to be very therapeutic for us crazy stressed out humans!
Picture the scenario, you are relaxing with this happy purring bundle of fur on your lap. I mean the cat! Or petting your dog. How does it feel to stroke its fur and have it snuggling up to you? Does the tension start to leave your body, do you feel your muscles relaxing, your shoulders dropping? This physical contact with your pet can give you a real feeling of wellbeing and comfort, which is very therapeutic in this fast paced world.
I don’t know about you but if my cat looks at me with his big doe eyes and wants me to sit down and have a cuddle, even though I’ve got things to do I cant help but give in to him. Even if its for only ten minutes, I’m under his spell. A complete sucker….em yep. But its not such a bad thing if it makes you stop and just me mindful of that bonding with your pet, helping you to focus on that one moment. To switch off for a while
It is scientifically proven that being with your pet has significant benefits. Such as:
- Lifts spirits and lessens depression.
- Releases endorphins, a feel good hormone that is released from your brain helping you to relax and improve your mood.
- Provides comfort
- Decreases anxiety
- Reduces boredom
- Makes you feel less isolated if you live alone.
When you walk your dog it improves your physical health and your cardiovascular health too.
In fact any kind of pet can do the above, I wasn’t joking when I said a guinea pig either. My sister had a house rabbit, he would sit on her lap, greet her when she came in from work and go for a walk with her around the garden. As you can see by the rather hairy arms in this picture however, that is not my sisters’ lap he’s sitting on! I remember having guinea pigs and rabbits when I was young and I think for children its a great way to teach them the responsibly of looking after a living creature and to learn kindness and compassion.
Our cat Doodie, see featured image above, gives us a lot of joy. Sitting on our lap in the evening while we watch television, he’s either purring or snoring at this point! Dashing around the garden chasing flying insects which he never can catch. Oh and a frog was hopping over to our wildlife pond one day, he nearly jumped out of his skin, (the cat I mean not the frog), it was so comical. I swear he was embarrassed when a mere frog gave him such a fright! I cant imagine not having a cat now, the house wouldn’t be the same without him.
I also think pets can pick up on your mood too. When we had a dog, Holly, if I was unhappy she would come over and rest her head on my lap looking up at me as if to say ‘hey are you ok, let me give you a cuddle.’ Or if I was crying she’d come over, lick my hands and if I was sitting down, try to get up next to me. Anything to be close. When I was happy or laughing she’d bounce all over the place wagging her tail and jumping around me playfully.
Animals can help people with mental and physical disabilities too, think of rescue dogs, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs and pet therapy organisations. PAWS is a wonderful organisation offering different types of pet therapy programmes. They will visit, hospitals, libraries and rehabilitation facilities to name but a few with their trained dogs. You can find out further information by clicking on the above link. There are also other organisations around the world that do the same.
So the next time you see your pet, they might even be on your lap or in the same room with you now. Give them a big cuddle and be grateful for that little fur baby in your life.
Do you have a pet? What kind is she/he? Share some good experiences in the comments, Id love to hear them.