The Groomers Spotlight | How a Pet Can Help if You’re Lonely, Anxious, or Depressed The Groomers Spotlight
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How a Pet Can Help if You’re Lonely, Anxious, or Depressed

Wednesday, 24 November 2021 09:35 AM

Hospitals, therapists, and mental health facilities are beginning to hire a new type of employee to help patients: animals. Dogs, cats, and other types of therapy animals are being used more and more because they're getting impressive results. If you suffer with symptoms of mental illness or other emotional disorders, The Groomers Spotlight invites you to consider how having a pet might help you and impact your life in a positive, healthy way.


Achieving Better Mental Health


According to Time, owning a pet can make you healthier, and science backs it up. Pet owners have lower blood pressure and less risk of heart disease than those who don’t have animals in their homes. The extra exercise you get from playing with your four-legged companion is good for you, too, so if you don’t have a fenced-in backyard, now’s the time to look for a nearby fence company. Whether it’s a privacy fence or chain link, you’re guaranteed to keep your pup safely confined to the property while you’re outside throwing the ball.


As for mental health, owning a pet reduces stress, anxiety, and feelings of fear. Multiple studies show that animals have enormously positive effects on many types of mental illnesses and their symptoms. Playing with your pet, journaling about your experiences together, and keeping track of their growth (online pet weight calculators can actually give you an idea of how big they’ll get!) can have a very positive impact on your life.


Therapy Animals


Unlike pets or service dogs who live in the home full-time, therapy dogs are specially trained animals used by mental health professionals to help patients. Therapy dogs have been proven to help people suffering from a number of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, autism, PTSD, and Alzheimer's, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Patients work with dogs during therapy sessions, where the dog handler and therapist are also present. Research shows that dog-assisted therapy has a positive impact and can help reduce the symptoms of various mental illnesses.


Pet-therapy programs are becoming more widely used, and a huge variety of animals are participating. Cats have also been used as therapy pets, to much success. Rabbits and turtles have been used in some programs.


Owning a Pet


Animals make amazing and loving companions. You can talk to a pet without facing possible judgement or recriminations, without hearing their advice or opinions. They will simply listen, and sometimes that's exactly what you need to feel better. Pets give unconditional love, and that's something everyone needs. Having a pet can actually reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it helps you establish a routine, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


Sticking to a schedule is very beneficial to mental health. Pets provide structure, which is another good way to combat the symptoms of depression. An animal will come to depend on you, and being needed is a good feeling.


It's a Social Thing


NPR notes that many people who own pets end up feeling less isolated from the outside world. Dogs in particular are social animals, and that can help you become more social as well. Take your dog out on a walk, and you may end up meeting some of your neighbors. If you’re not able to own a dog, you can still get many of the same social benefits of being around them by becoming a dog walker. Go to dog parks and dog-friendly events to connect with other dog lovers, people you already have something in common with.


There are lots of ways to become a social dog owner, and once you own a four-legged friend, you’re part of a large community already. Take visits to the pet store, and you’ll see that you’re surrounded by other animal lovers. Pets also give you emotional support and companionship on their own, which helps to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.


Make a Positive Impact


Make a positive impact on your own life and address any emotional challenges you're facing by bringing a pet into your life. If you think a dog or cat will be too much work, consider a turtle, fish, bird, or another type of low-maintenance pet. Any type of animal will provide you with companionship, support, and love—things everyone deserves to have.


The Groomers Spotlight celebrates fully qualified groomers and the art of professional dog grooming. Reach out today for more info! 

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