With regard to the part of mental well-being, pets give us affection; They do not judge, they do not question or laugh at us. And they do not discriminate against us because of our physical appearance or because of the mistakes we have made.
Below are the specific benefits for mental wellbeing caused by having a pet and taking care of it:
1. Avoid the feeling of loneliness
Having a pet at home helps the person feel more confident and more protected. It can also help avoid states such as depression due to feelings of loneliness, as your company encourages physical contact and communication. They may not speak, or they may not follow the conversation, but you know, with total certainty, that you are not alone at home and that you have company.
2. Relieve depression
Depressed people do not feel the desire to relate. When a person maintains a bond with a pet, he has a reason to get out of bed. Maybe he does not want to do anything, but he knows that he should feed him and in the case of dogs, for example, take him out to the street. Often the depressed person does not vent to anyone, but he may feel able to talk to his pet.
3. Increase the feeling of happiness
Pet owners, after sharing a game, experience an increase in oxytocin, the production of serotonin and dopamine is stimulated, while cortisol is decreased, all these hormones help to reduce stress levels and are a good antidote against depression.
4. Reduce stress
The team of psychiatrist Sandra Baker of the Commonwealth University of Virginia (USA) measured the brain waves of different dog owners before and after spending time with them. These studies have revealed that having a pet and petting it frequently helps reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. So it is advised to pet, play, walk and even talk with pets to clear the mind and feel well.
5. Increase the sense of responsibility
They make us responsible for their care, and teach us to set priorities. In addition to being a playmate for children, growing up with a pet is an opportunity to teach them to be responsible and to respect animals. Dogs, for example, become excellent teachers, an inexhaustible source of stimuli that awaken the child’s senses.
6. Improve social life
Frequently, going out for a walk with the pet is the excuse to meet people: in the parks there are groups of dog owners that coincide there, there are strangers who come to pet a puppy or there are conversations about anecdotes or taking care of their pets.
7. Reinforce self-esteem
Pet owners are more likely to have higher self-esteem, according to scientists at the Universities of Miami and Saint Louis. It has also been observed that children with some difficulty of reading aloud in front of their pet reinforce their safety and self-confidence, since pets will not laugh at how they do it or if they make a mistake.