Pets can bring their owners companionship, joy, and a sense of purpose. In addition to these benefits, studies have shown that pet ownership can positively affect mental health.
Several studies have indicated that owning a pet can help alleviate symptoms associated with mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Research has shown that having a furry friend can reduce stress levels and increase oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and affection. One of the benefits of pet ownership is that it promotes better physical and mental well-being.
Assisting with homelessness
Pet ownership can be a lifeline for individuals experiencing homelessness and being vulnerable to mental health challenges. Homelessness is an increasing public health epidemic in the United States, and it has been observed that up to 25% of homeless individuals own pets. Furthermore, pets can encourage social interaction and reduce loneliness in elderly individuals.
Mental health during Covid-19
The pandemic has changed all aspects of our lives, including heightened stress and anxiety levels, and people must have ways to mitigate these adverse effects. Pet ownership has been shown to have numerous positive benefits on mental and emotional health, making it an ideal solution for those struggling during these unprecedented times. It has been found that pet owners experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than those who do not own pets. Furthermore, pets can provide a sense of companionship and social support, which is especially important for those who may be socially isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Pet owners struggling with substance abuse can also benefit from having a furry friend to turn to during challenging times. Companionship has been proven to affect patients with mental health positively. Today, there are pet-friendly rehab centers for people with drug misuse all over the United States. They commonly offer evidence-based recovery programs incorporating behavioral therapy, detoxification, and pet therapy.In conclusion, healthcare providers should encourage pet ownership to promote mental and emotional well-being, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research studies have found that pet ownership benefits mental and emotional health, providing companionship and social support and decreasing stress, anxiety and depression. Additionally, pet therapy is a valuable tool for treating those struggling with mental health conditions such as dementia, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).