If you have ever owned a pet, you know how much joy than can bring into your life. It seems as if their sweet little paws and fuzzy little faces can make you forget all your worries. Think about it: when was the last time you a little puppy do their little floppy run and thought about your taxes? Or rubbed behind a purring kitten’s ear and worried about office drama? Exactly.
So what does this mean for depression? Well, as it turns out, there is plenty of research to back the fact that owning pets such as dogs and cats has mental health benefits. They are known to ease anxiety and depression symptoms, increase vitality and life satisfaction, decrease aggression, and so much more. They give you a reason to get out of bed, leave the house, and socialize. They add structure to your day and they offer you a sense of responsibility and pride. As they offer love that is unconditional and uncomplicated and they never hide their excitement to see you, it’s no wonder that they are so effective in reliving depression symptoms.
As much as they will help your psyche, you should be aware of how much time, money, and effort you can realistically spend with on your pet. Though they add meaning and happiness to your life, they can be expensive and exhausting. If you are considering getting an animal, make sure you have the means to care for it. Additionally, choose a breed that will work best for you.