It never ceases to amaze us just how much animals help humans, even when some of us do not deserve it. Many people don’t realize how much training goes into teaching a dog how to aid the blind, sniff out bombs and locate evidence in a murder investigation. But perhaps one of the very best things that our dear animal companions provide is simply…happiness. They don’t need special training classes to teach us how to smile and scientists are only beginning to understand just how much our pets can do to fight depression.
According to many studies, animals are able to reduce the amount of stress we feel and improve our overall moods. Along with all these benefits, pets help some people with clinical depression to recover. How do they do that, you ask? They provide their humans with the following:
- Unconditional love: Men may come and go, but your dog will love you no matter what. This is the kind of love only your pet can give you. Your mother will always love you, but probably not as “unconditionally” as the way Rover loves you!
- A sense of purpose: Owning a pet is a big responsibility. You have to take care of it each day. You have to take the time and energy to get up, provide food and water, go for walks and give a good scratch behind the ears. Just doing small things like these are the first steps toward breaking out of a depression.
- Exercise: Like I mentioned earlier, one of the things you have to do as a pet owner is to take walks together. It may not feel like you’re doing a P90-X workout, but you are engaging in a form of cardio by walking.
- Companionship: Pets offer us a great sense of companionship. They don’t call dogs “man’s best friend” just because it sounds good. Having a pet means that you get the honor of being part of a team. Your pet is your best buddy…they will be there for you when no one else would ever consider being there. They are your most trusted source of companionship.
With all these great mental health benefits that pets give to us, is it any wonder why we love our furry friends so much? Now grab your pet, put a smile on your face, get outside and live this day like it’s never been lived before. How will you show your pet you love them today? Leave some ideas in the comments section below.