If a cuddle with your cat or a bracing walk with your dog never fails to boost your mood, you’re not alone — there’s scientific evidence that owning a pet is good for both your physical and mental health.
According to animal charity Blue Cross, almost half of UK adults own a pet, with more than 11 million pet cats, nine million dogs, as well as thousands of guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits living in our homes.
So what is it about having a family pet that can help us feel better – and what are the wider benefits of keeping one?
If you’ve ever snuggled down with your cat, dog or guinea pig, you’ll know how much better it can make you feel. But now there’s evidence to show that pets can do more than boost your mood temporarily – they can help alleviate depression long-term.
Research carried out by Blue Cross revealed that people suffering from depression reported feeling in better mental health when they had a pet to think about.
‘Depression can be all-consuming, and a pet meant they had something else to focus on,’ explains Becky Thwaites from the Blue Cross. ‘It gave them a sense of responsibility and took their mind off how they were feeling.’
Boosts heart health
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October 19, 2020