I am sure that many of us realize that owning a pet is a great way to add to our families or that we are doing our pet a service by saving them from an uncertain future. My family surely has, as we are currently owned by three rescue animals, one of them – Charlie, found us, after being abandoned and starved. Of course, this alone is a great reason to own a pet; however, there are even more reasons to join the ranks of pet ownership.
While these are all important ways a pet can benefit you, improving mental health is high on the list. There are several individuals who benefit mentally from owning a pet. I am a survivor of childhood abuse, and owning pets (or being owned by them), has helped me through depression and anxiety. Senior citizens are worth a special mention here as well. For many elders, living alone and feeling isolated are just a part of what they are experiencing during this stage of their lives. This is why many assisted living facilities have began allowing, and even promoting pet visits and ownership.
Depression, Anxiety, and Panic Relief for Senior Citizens
We all know that feeling isolated can lead to many other ailments. However, mental deterioration in the form of panic, anxiety attacks, and depression can set in for an elder who is isolated. According to Dr. Max Dinkel, a Veterinarian in Erlangen, Germany, those feelings are alleviated with the company of a pet.4 Ways That Pets Can Improve Your Health #petcare #mentalhealth Click To Tweet
Having a pet can improve the mental status of a senior citizen in many ways.
A senior, a disabled person, or someone suffering from PTSD, who owns a pet is more likely to have feelings of wellbeing, peace, and a sense of vitality. A feeling that there is someone who needs caring for and tended to can make a huge difference, especially one who may have just recently lost a spouse they were caring for at home.
Dealing With Grief
When someone loses a spouse, sometimes they lose their sense of purpose along with them. Owning a pet is an effective way to get that sense of purpose back into their lives.
Walking a dog or taking care of a cat, motivates the pet owner to be physically active. Someone suffering from chronic illness, depression, or PTDS is forced to take physical responsibility for another being, which in turn motives them to move more, often improving their physical health in the process.
Of course, one does not have to suffer from any illness to receive the benefits from owning an active pet. Petting an animal alone can lower stress hormones, which in return can improve sleep, overall well-being, and focus.
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So, if have contemplated on rescueing an animal, you can see that there are many reasons why you should decide to go to your nearest animal resuce and find the perfect companion for yourself, and your family. I am pretty sure that you will noticed how your new little rescue will have rescued you right back.
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