April is National Pet month and one of the great benefits of pets is the companionship and not just during a time of lockdown when we are needing to stay at home and avoid socialising with our friends and family, but a lot of our customers are at home more during normal times.
Studies have shown that owning a pet can be good for your physical and mental health.
Our pets can help us feel less lonely and scared. For some owners, their pet is their only friend and companion, and they feel a strong bond with them. Our pets can also help us meet new people. Walking with a dog often breaks the ice with strangers or talking to a fellow cat lover gives you something in common to talk about straight away.
Pets can be great for children’s mental health, too. Having a family pet can really help when children are feeling upset as it is someone they can talk to if they feel they cannot speak to an adult or friend.
Pets can be more than just pets
A lot of people find they need some extra help either from physical health problems or for their mental health. Guide Dogs for the blind can be someone’s eyes if theirs are failing, or hearing assistance dogs can be someone’s ears.
There are also so many official and unofficial support pets who help their owners in different ways. From offering comfort and emotional support, to warning their owners of serious illnesses.
Anyone who owns a pet knows that they are part of the family. Sometimes, our pets can be our only family. They are with us at our best and worst times, providing companionship and love whenever we need it.
Our pets can support us through hard times, when we are upset and just need someone there for us. We love our pets, and they accept us just as we are.
My own husband Michael who is unfortunately less mobile due to health conditions, has found the companionship of our two Labradors invaluable to his health and his mental health. There are some days, that if it was not for having to take them for a walk, he may have not left the house at all and not benefitted from going out and some much-needed fresh air.
If you are considering getting a pet check out https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/all-pets/the-benefits-of-owning-a-pet who can provide advice and support in what needs to be considered for taking on a pet, and is right for you.
We would love to hear how your pet companions help you.
Source of some of this information from the PDSA