There is a lot to be said about having a pet. For many people, pets can be like a member of the family. They can be great company, especially if you are lonely. And most importantly, they can be good for your mental health. The kids often ask me if we can get a pet. I am tempted but my main issue is who would look after them when we go on holiday.
I used to have a little hamster called Hattie. When you first own a pet, there is a lot to take in. There is a large learning curve, but as you both begin to adapt to each other’s needs and way of life, it can be gratifying.
Owning A Cat
Many people disregard owning a cat, as they think that cats can be too aloof. While it is true, they can be picky animals, and everything that they do is on their own terms, if you have a cat that warms to you, they can be hugely affectionate animals. For this reason, cats can be excellent company, particularly if you are lonely, or struggle with mental health problems.
Cats arevery intelligent creatures. They know exactly what they want, and how to get it. I like that. They can be fascinating to watch and have around the home. Owning a cat can be very stimulating, as they really do have high levels of independence, and such different personalities to each other.
Cats are often very easy to look after, as they generally groom themselves. They are clean, and as long as you put out a tray of cat litter, you should not have to clean up after them too much. You’ll just need to feed them, and occasionally play with them to keep them happy.
Getting A Dog
A dog can be like your best friend. They offer unconditional love, and if they bond with you, the connection can be very strong. Dogs are very sensitive animals and are very adept at reading their owner’s body language. They pick up routines very quickly and recognise people and places well. All of this intelligence gives them spirited personalities. You can get to know a dog, and come to understand it.
Dogs need walking, and as such will mean that you will get out and have plenty of exercise. Getting lots of fresh air, and going to parks and beaches for walks can provide you with motivation in your life. Daily exercise is not just good for your physical health; it is also essential for your mental well being.
Social animals such as dogs, enjoy each other’s company. And when you are walking a dog, you will often come into contact with other dog owners by association with their pets. Having your dogs engage with each other often gets you talking to strangers. Social connections like these can be meaningful, especially when struggling with depression.
Training a dog can be an enriching experience too. Watching a dog learn, and the sense of accomplishment that you will get from doing this are immense. By using positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog to behave. Seeing how they learn, and find motivation, can help you to understand your own motivation.
I would love to hear from people who have pets and how they may have helped your health, both physical and mental.