In many scenarios, the love between a pet and their owners becomes an unbreakable bond. Not only does the pet rely on the human for basic means of living, but whether they recognize it, humans begin to rely on animals as well. This relationship of relying on one another is more frequent than not and because of it owning a pet has the ability to be extremely beneficial to overall mental health.
The first and potentially obvious reason animals are mental boosters for their owners, is the fact that the human is responsible for fulfilling the needs of the pet. As there is limited communication between animal and owner, it is the responsibility of the human to be aware of the animal and its mannerisms. Having to be constantly wary of the health and well-being of another living creature creates the likeness for pet owners to have higher mental capacities than non-pet owners. Dr. Azadeh Aalai wrote for Psychology Today about this subject, sharing that studies have even shown humans previously diagnosed with depression show decreased symptoms after becoming a pet owner.
Pets have the ability to make their owners smile and laugh at any given moment. Sometimes these fun experiences animals create for humans come at just the right time. A blogger for The Huffington Post, put it best when she stated that pets “both keep you distracted and present.” She continued to explain that the animals have the ability to instantly remove hardships of everyday life by diverging their owner’s attention to them, even if just for a few minutes. The second part of the statement elaborates on what was previously mentioned, regarding the need for owners to be focused and aware of their pet’s well-being. This statement is a great representation of how beneficial owning a pet can be to the humans. Those few moments when the animal grips their human’s attention has the power to change an entire demeanor of a day for that person and their mental state.
Having a pet to come home to at the end of a long day, can sometimes benefit the owner more than coming home to another human. In the human race, it is simply natural to want to react and attempt to relate to others, whereas an animal does not have those capabilities. This is definitely a perk to owning a pet, simply due to the fact that they will never judge or share their opinions, and sometimes that is exactly what the human needs! Pets love their owners unconditionally (mostly because they feed them), especially those who have been a member of the family from a young age. That unlimited love from an animal is so vital to the mental stability of someone, especially those who may suffer from mental health illnesses.
Whether a dog, bird, cat or even a fish, animals have the ability to emotionally provide support for their owners by simply being alive. By giving the human the ability to care for someone other than themselves, pets help them inevitably build upon their mental stability.