How our dogs and cats impact our mental health

There's many benefits to having a dog in the family but did you know that they have a great impact on everyone's mental health? Studies have shown that pets help to reduce stress and anxiety in many homes and play a vital role in companionship and easing loneliness. 

Here's several ways your dog or cat helps your mental health:

They get you out the house

Whether it's a game of fetch in the garden or a daily walk, our dogs help us to get out into the fresh air everyday which improves mood as well as providing daily exercise. 

They're always there 

Your dog or cat is always there to depend on. If you simply need a cuddle or someone to talk to, they alway provide us with a sense of security and brighten our days. In fact, research shows that 40% of people are more likely to share their secrets with their pet rather than anyone else. 

They make you feel calm

Did you know, even just 5 minutes of interaction with your dog reduces stress related hormones. Playing, laughing, smiling and talking with your dog or cat raises serotonin and oxytocin levels and produces dopamine - hormones that calm and relax the nervous system.

Studies showed that 76% of people found that owning a cat helps them cope better with life and 87% felt that their cat has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing. 

They make you proud 

We do so much for our cats and dogs, keeping them happy and healthy. With every new trick and milestone they reach to strangers passing with a smile for them, it all builds up to make us feel proud and improve self esteem. 

They help you build a routine 

Dogs and cats need regular feeding, exercising and care, which all provide a structure for building a solid routine which helps us to create healthy habits and improve relationships.

They help children with Autism & ADHD

Studies have shown that children with ADHD can benefit from having a pet. By helping with or taking charge of things like feeding, bathing or walking they can learn to plan and take responsibility while also improving independence and decreasing isolation. Exercise from walking or playing can also release excess energy which helps children to feel calmer. 

Similarly, studies show that children with Autism who engage with a pet show an improvement in social functions and independence.

All in all, our cats and dogs provide so much love and care for us and no matter how we're feeling, they'll always be there for us.