How Pet Ownership Can Treat Mental Illnesses

Happy couple with pet in the park
Happy couple with pet in the park

As many people know, pet ownership is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have. Not only are they fluffy and cute, but many people own a pet for additional companionship and to encourage them to exercise. However, now there are new studies that suggest that pets can also be used as a treatment for those with mental health conditions, such as PTSD and depression.

Anxiety

One of the significant mental health issues that pet ownership can help to treat is anxiety, especially if it stems from excess stress. Owning a pet can reduce your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure due to its reduction of stress hormones in the body. Not only this, but pets can act as a welcome distraction and work as a grounding for anxious minds. Additionally, they help to ease the nerves of people with agoraphobia and other related conditions by providing them with constant support at home and when they are out and about. People with anxiety can talk about their problems with their pets, and the unconditional love that pets provide can be vital in allowing people with anxiety to realize their own worth and value.

Depression

Depression affects a high proportion of the population. Pet ownership can help to reduce the concerns of those with depression by helping them to establish a routine that they can easily stick to, allowing them to believe that there is another living creature that needs and wants them around. Additionally, many people with depression are incredibly lonely. However, owning a dog can help them to meet new people on walks and at events and to reduce their experience of loneliness when they are home alone. Exercise also helps people with depression, and owning a dog can help to increase the amount of exercise you perform through being forced to take them for a walk twice a day. However, if you have recently adopted a pooch and are struggling to care for it due to your depression, you should give your dog back the health that it has given you by looking for professional vet advice at heartandpaw.com.

PTSD

Recovering from PTSD can be a struggle as there are no set treatments that can help to cure the condition. However, owning a dog can help servicemen and women and even those who have PTSD outside of a military context. Not only can dogs be trained to take orders, as they did in the military, but they can help to strengthen positive emotions and expressions of love that people who have PTSD may struggle with. They can also reduce the stress and tension that people with PTSD experience through the release of serotonin into the body, as well as helping to reduce physical symptoms, such as a high heart rate.

Many people with mental health conditions use emotional support dogs to help them battle their illnesses, including those with PTSD and depression. Not only can they help them to complete daily tasks and routines, but these dogs can also provide the support that mentally ill people need to help them to deal with stressful situations and to get back on track as soon as possible.