Corinne - September 5, 2015

I was alerted by the lovely Charlene after the blogger meet last month that from the 1st-7th of September is Scottish Animal Week. If you are a regular reading of Lady Ellumina you will know that I am a big animal lover, and used to volunteer with the Cats Protection. I am a big supporter of animal welfare charities as I believe that they do truly important work.  Due to the theme of this last week I thought that there was no time like the present to talk about why I love to have furry companions around so much continuing on with my top ways to de-stress post series.

In my opinion having pets has a positive effect on your mental well-being. The subject has actually been studied by psychologists and has vast evidence to support this theory. If you are interested in reading journal articles I highly suggest “The Effects of Animals on Human Health and Well-Being” (Wells, 2009).

For easier reading I have a summary of why I think pets have this positive effect on well-being, and why they are just so lovely to have around!
  • Experiencing unconditional love is a wonderful, and pets are one of those few you will experience this connection with. When you come home from a long day and have been in a bit of a grumpy mood pets simply don’t care that you aren’t at your best; they are just happy to see you. This warm welcome is sometimes just exactly what you need to cheer you up.
  • They are also daft. Watching a pet do something silly is bound to make you smile and brighten up your day.
  • Pets also provide companionship which is especially great for those living alone. Despite being slightly more introverted or extraverted we are social by nature and seek company. Having a furry face around to keep you company lessens any feelings of loneliness.
  • Dogs are great companions as they get you outside. Going out for a walk everyday is great for your mental health; you get exercise which keeps you physically fitter, absorbs more vitamin D from greater sun exposure and, (if you have ever owned a dog you will know from experience) you will bump into people that will want to say hello to your gorgeous pet and in turn have a chat to you too!
  • Interacting with a pet reduces stress. Petting reduces stress by releasing a “love hormone” called oxytocin. How cute is that?! It is also bundles of fun playing with cats or dogs.
  • Sometimes having a sense purpose brings meaning to your everyday life, and being responsible for a pet can give you that purpose.
  • Finally, when life is getting you down pets are a perfect distraction! They give you cuddles and affection when you feel unwell. But they also keep you present day-to-day as they need to be looked after.
Pets are wonderful. I love mine to pieces and prefer to have animals in my life as they keep me grounded. Having a time-out playing on the scratch post with Sayuri or Haku, and tug-of-war with Willow (as well many cuddles that go round) helps me to de-stress.
It is such a shame that there are animals that have to stay in shelters without loving homes, but we can all get involved by supporting the SSPCA: by donating, by volunteering or fundraising or fostering and/or adoption.

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1 Comment

  • Armelle January 3, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Annnnw this is so cuuuute


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