We all know there are studies suggesting that stroking a pet can reduce your blood pressure, alongside helping the release of happy hormones (dopamine) which can make you smile. Along with the positive benefits you can see when dogs or cats are taken to care homes, hospices and hospitals. People respond often more to animals than they do to other humans. There are many organisations set up to reinforce this human animal bond and give therapy for both children and adults, for example riding for the disabled and PAT (pets as therapy) dogs. This tells us there is something special that animals can do for us humans!

World mental health day is in October but this shouldn’t stop us from thinking about our mental health on a daily basis along with our friends and family. Given the recent pandemic and global changes that has been occurring it is not suprising that a lot of us are feeling slightly more anxious or stressed than normal. The pet owning population are the lucky ones in times like this as our pets offer the perfect companionship to help reduce anxiety and stress.

Pets are a great motivator for us to help us stick to a routine, we have to get out of bed to feed them as both cats and dogs rely on us and we have a responsibility to them. The next thing you know is your doggie companion will be requesting their morning walkies, this will make us put on our shoes and get out into the world (now a days this is in a safe socially distanced way). By exercising with your pet this is not only ensuring they stay at their target weight but can also have benefits for us, their owners to stay physically healthy, which can in turn keep our minds happier.

A study was performed with the cats protection in 2011 which involved over 600 cat and non-cat owning humans, half of whom had described themselves as having a mental health problem. The survey found that 87% of the people who owner a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing, and 76% said that their cat helped them cope much better with everyday life.

We are sure we are not the only ones who find themselves talking to their pets, whether it is discussing the weather to asking them questions! Again there are plenty of studies which confirm this that we do often confide in our pets. Part of the benefit is that there is no judgement or replies just knowing eyes and requests to have play time.

We hope this article demonstrates the importance of our relationship with our pets, whether that is a dog, cat, rabbit or degu! The bonds we have are beneficial both physically and mentally. That is why it is so important we take the best care of our pets we can. If you have any concerns over your pets health please call your local Swaynes branch and have a chat to our vets.