Did you know that pet ownership can help with our physical and mental health? With COVID becoming more prevalent in our local community, the impacts on our well-being and mental health are becoming all too common. Here we share how our animal-friends can help us stay calm, mindful, and hopefully bring us some positive health benefits. We also have a fun quiz at the end for you to see what your own pet’s superpowers are! Scroll on to see!
Research shows that just patting a pet can ease stress and reduce your blood pressure(1). Focusing on your pet can help you relax and practice mindfulness through grounding and sensory therapy. Watching fish in an aquarium, or noticing how rough or soft your pet’s coat feels, helps us stay connected to the world around us, rather than focusing purely on our thoughts.
Not so lonely
When feeling isolated (especially during COVID), with a little support, a pet can help reduce loneliness. They are generally affectionate, accepting, loyal, honest, and consistent. If you’re thinking about getting a pet to help with company, look at each different species and breeds’ needs. Some require more company and care than others, so look for one that matches your lifestyle. Each can have the potential to help battle feelings of loneliness.
During these trying times, many of us feel the struggle to find motivation. Having a routine for your pets, including cleaning, feeding and exercise, can give you a purpose. This can help look after yourself too!
Help social skills
Whilst social interaction is difficult right now, getting out and about can certainly help our mental health and improve our social skills. Pet friendly dog parks and beaches can help us stay connected in the community, while also allowing us to practise social distancing. Some local dog friendly places in Newcastle are:
Walking your dog regularly can help with a routine, improve fitness and mental health. Getting outdoors is a chance to pop on your favourite audiobook or podcast, or just tune in to nature. Studies have even shown a link between reduction in cardiovascular disease risk and dog ownership, (2).
These benefits are just the start of the endless joy our pets can offer us. Our pets rely on us to provide them with a routine full of love, food, exercise and companionship. They give us purpose and help us feel a little less lonely. The best thing we can do for them is look after ourselves, too!
Take our quiz!
Interested to know what your pet’s special superpower is that can help to benefit us? Take our quiz below! They might have one or multiple special powers that can help guide, comfort, or protect us in our time of need. Share your results with us and we’ll share the combined results on our Instagram page!
What are your pet's superpowers?
1. Cryer, S., Henderson-Wilson, C., Lawson, J. Pawsitive Connections: The role of Pet Support Programs and pets on the elderly. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice , 2021 (42). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1744388120311737
2. Kramer, C.K., Mehmood, Caroline, S., & Suen, R.S. Dog Ownership and Survival: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Volume 12, Issue 101 October 2019. Retrieved from https://www.ahajournals.org/