I have always loved animals. They are absolutely amazing and perfect in every sense. I enjoy all animals in general but find the companionship that a pet offers is a great way to reduce my anxiety and stress. They provide me with a lot of comfort and much needed companionship. It has been scientifically proven that owning a pet, of any kind, can be good for your mental health.
I have had lots of pets over the years and have always found just by stroking, sitting next to or playing with them gives me a chance to relax and calm my mind…. especially when I am having a bad day. The love they give you has no bounds and caring for them also gives my day some purpose. Pets provide a relationship we can rely on at the most difficult of times where we can be entirely ourselves without fear of judgement. My dog has been there for me more than anyone else in the world.
They are so loyal. There has been many times where my dog has chosen to spend the night sleeping on a cold, hard floor snuggled next to me (after I had a panic attack) rather than sleeping in her comfy bed. I couldn’t ask for a better friend! Sometimes I wonder how hard it must be for her when I dissociate but she copes really well and is great at picking it up before it happens. Dogs are able to understand many of the words we use but they’re even better at interpreting our tone of voice, emotions, body language, and gestures. It’s fair to say that she is loved by all the ‘different parts’ of me and will react differently to whoever is ‘out’ at the time.
It has also been proven that pets are a great motivator for people. This is true for me… my dog is the reason why I get out of bed in the morning! All pets are great to have but dogs especially are great at encouraging owners to get exercise even on days where you would rather just not go out and have to face the rest of the world. My dog also motivates me to stay well and grounded on a daily basis.
Things become so much more important when you have someone who depends on you to survive. I have to try and look after myself so I can look after her. If I didn’t go out then she would have no food to eat or be able to go out for a walk. If I didn’t get up out of bed, who would care for her? It’s as simple as that. She provides me with a daily routine and there is nothing in the world that I wouldn’t do for her. It can be challenging at times, particularly when coupled with mental health difficulties and various hospital admissions… but I honestly wouldn’t know where I would be without my dog. Although they are not a miracle cure for mental illness, they are beneficial and comforting for those who love and appreciate animals and have the time and money to keep them happy, healthy and loved. Whether they’re fluffy, feathery or scaley… pets definitely get the thumbs up from me👍