This time of year can be difficult. For many people, winter can bring feelings of loneliness, fatigue, and general unhappiness. This affliction is often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Luckily, many people also find a solution in a very special form of companionship. Your relationship with a beloved pet can boost mental health and emotional wellbeing.
How It Works
It can be hard to pinpoint why animals can make us feel so much better. Maybe there is “just something special” about your furry friend. However, the lifestyle choices that come with adopting a pet certainly help.
People with dogs or particularly athletic cats tend to lead more active lifestyles. Regular walks get pet owners out of the house and into more natural spaces. Pet owners are more likely to keep walks to a specific routine and thus are more likely to meet their recommended daily exercise goals. Exercise releases endorphins, which lead to a healthier and happier you!
Pets also provide companionship and responsibility to their owners. Having a pet can give people a powerful sense of purpose. Caring for an animal becomes a priority, which takes the focus away from external problems. This relationship creates an extremely strong and unique form of companionship.
Pets can also provide emotional contagion. Emotional contagion refers to the spread of emotions between animals and people. Dogs are particularly good at this; therapy dogs have been known to use physical cues to make their humans feel better. In established human-pet relationships, even eye contact can catalyze mindful breathing to reduce anger or anxiety.
Additional Benefits to Physical Health
Emotional wellbeing contributes greatly to physical health as well. Therefore, pets can boost physical wellbeing within their families. People with pets are known to have lower blood pressure than those without. Additionally, pet owners have lower levels of common heart disease indicators such as cholesterol and triglyceride. This makes owning a pet particularly helpful for heart attack patients.
Located in sunny Orange County, Claws N Paws Day Spa provides professional grooming services to your beloved cats and dogs. Not interested in grooming right now? Claws N Paws also provides boarding in our cats-only facility right next door. For more information, stop by our location or contact us at 714-962-1005.