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How Dogs and Other Pets Can Help With Depression

One of the most widespread mental health issues worldwide is depression. The problem would seem quite troublesome but there are many ways to treat the condition and make the individual feel much better.

Generally, people see quite noticeable differences after consulting a licensed psychiatrist. Healthy eating and exercise also are contributing factors to the condition just as spending quality time with friends and family is. A little time with pets can also notably improve the mood of depressed people.

This especially holds with dogs as they have an integral contribution in making your emotional state much better.

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Having Pets

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Having Pets

A lot of studies have shown that dogs and other pets lead to reduced depression, stress, and anxiety, and they also encourage exercise, ease loneliness, and contribute to overall physical and mental health.

Typically pet owners have low blood pressure and they have quite less chance of developing any heart disease. Playing with your pets has also been linked to elevated dopamine and oxytocin levels that create positive bonding and feelings for both the pet and the tamer.

Just having a pet companion can considerably help a person who is suffering from depression. Depression and pets are inversely linked to each other and some benefits of having pets during the depression phase are listed below:

How Do Pets Help With Depression

Better socialization

With a dog pet, you can easily connect with new people while strolling at dog parks or walk paths. This would help in recovering from the loneliness that you would feel in a depressive situation.

Socializing with others, especially face-to-face, is known to show ease in depression symptoms. This can especially become true for people who are aged 50 years or older.

Being a companion also prevents depression from getting worse. Pets can constantly tune in according to your requirements. Providing love and care to your pet and receiving the same back provides you with a purpose and makes you feel wanted while greatly reducing your depression.

I am telling here mainly about emotional support animals (ESAs). Service dogs and therapy dogs are different from ESAs. Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks to assist people with disabilities, while therapy dogs are used to provide emotional support in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. ESAs do not require any special training, but they must provide a therapeutic benefit to their owner.

Better exercise routine

With pets, you’ll surely get a much healthier lifestyle. Dogs require exercise, meaning that you’ll easily be able to exercise very well while being around them. With the endorphin rush triggered through exercise, you can easily tackle depression symptoms and gradually minimize it.

As dogs require consistent physical activity, you’ll easily learn ways to keep exercise as your daily routine rather than just passing it as a one-time activity. According to various research studies, building consistency can significantly lessen stress levels and lead to better overall health with healthy sleep patterns.

Get overwhelmed by the soothing presence

Many studies have proven the fact that just watching a pet fish for a little time helps in lowering muscle tension and blood pressure in people who are about to get an oral done. You can find here one such research study → The effect of an aquarium present in a geriatric dental clinic waiting area on blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, and mood of waiting patients.

Another research study indicates that owners of pets get significantly low blood pressure and heart rate even before and while they perform various stressful mental tasks such as supervising children, having conversations, and being involved with family.

Recovering from a heart attack speeds up with increased survival duration in heart patients with pets at home.

Pets have an overwhelming touch

Touch is known to have healing properties. According to research just with a 45-minute massage you can easily decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol and can optimize the functioning of your immune system through the formation of new white blood cells.

With hugging your body gets flooded with oxytocin hormones and you get highly reduced stress levels with lower heart rates and blood pressure.

A study conducted at Virginia University suggested that holding hands notably reduces stress activity inside the brain’s hypothalamus region, which is the emotional center part. With the touch, you can easily stop certain brain regions from responding to any signals of threat.

Thus, it isn’t an unknown fact that stroking a cat or dog leads to lower heart rate and blood pressure while you’re flooded with higher levels of dopamine and serotonin.

Adding a routine to your day is proven to minimize and eventually diminish stress levels. This taking care of pets is just adding structure to your day-to-day routines and you’ll surely keep yourself busy with lots and unconditional love and care from your pets.

Conclusion

Dogs and other pets can help people with depression by providing companionship, social support, and love. Pets can also help people get outside and be more active, which can improve their mood.

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