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It is normal and common for people to grow up with household pets. Little to nothing beats coming back home after a long day of work to a loyal companion. Household pets can teach many important life lessons and allow people to experience a unique companionship like no other.

If you have ever witnessed someone getting a pet, or you’ve received one yourself, you would understand the immediate joy that comes from welcoming a new companion into your life. While most people acknowledge this initial excitement, many people remain unaware of the actual physical and mental health benefits that tend to come with having a new pet. 

It is important to understand the power that a pet can have on your overall well-being. While the mood-boosting benefits alone make adopting or rescuing a furry friend something to consider, it is important to recognize whether or not you are mentally or physically available to take on the large responsibility. 

Pets Foster Responsibility

One of the great benefits of having a pet is that the experience of caring for a pet introduces a new sense of responsibility for a person. It can teach people how to be organized with feeding, potty schedules, and keeping the home environment clean from any pet accidents or pet dander. 

While many people might even consider getting a pet for therapeutic purposes, such as registering their pet as an emotional support animal (ESA), it is important to remember that pets experience emotions too. Having a pet can be a good way to learn how to recognize different emotions that others may experience. While pet emotions and people’s emotions show up incredibly different, the process of recognizing different emotional signs in your animal is similar to how you would process emotional signs in your human relationships. 

After you first introduce a pet to your home, it may be difficult to notice any initial emotional signs. This is a completely new environment for them and odds are, they are overwhelmed. Over time, you will be able to recognize how they respond to situations of stress, excitement, and even contentment. 

Pets Offer Mental and Emotional Support

The unconditional love of a pet is something worth noting. They serve as an invaluable source of comfort and support. 

Dogs, for example, live very presently and seem to be sensitive to human emotions. They live to honor and please their owners. Their attention is focused on their person all the time. So when their owner is struggling emotionally, their dog will be there to comfort them in unexpected ways. 

Although pets can get aggressive and sassy from time to time, they are not able to talk back to you like some of your human companions might. Even when a pet is scolded for doing something naughty, they learn quickly and become less likely to do it again in the future. 

Having a pet companion helps to directly fight isolation and loneliness. Caregiving for an animal can lead you to experience feeling needed and wanted. It can take the focus away from your mental and emotional distress and pain to remind you that you are the most important person in your pet’s life.

Another important benefit to consider is the effect that a pet can have on reducing anxiety. Pets help to teach their owners mindfulness– an essential component that plays a role in living positively and presently. Pets do not worry about the past or become anxious about the future. They help to teach us that the present moment is all that we ever have. 

Pets Encourage Exercise

Another mood-boosting benefit of having a pet is that it will increase your willingness to exercise and stay fit. Especially if you have an active pet, going on walks or playing with toys can increase your physical wellness. Physical wellness plays a key role in having a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle. 

For older adults, pets can help you to overcome numerous physical challenges that are associated with aging. Pets remind you to take good care of yourself and care for your own needs. Many different kinds of house pets encourage youthfulness, which helps to increase your overall energy. 

For individuals that struggle with learning disorders or other learning challenges, pets can help teach them how to regulate their stress or keep them calm. When a person prioritizes their ability to stay calm, they are more likely to overcome learning challenges with any condition. Playing with a pet can also help those that struggle with learning to stay focused, alert, and attentive. 

Household pets have been known to contribute many positive traits and experiences to an owner’s life. Pet’s have incredible mood-boosting benefits, as they offer incomparable experiences of unconditional love, support, and comfort. Having a furry friend is more than just a new responsibility, it is a journey of learning to love something else as much as you are working to love yourself. Pets offer intimate support for mental and emotional wellness, which is why it is no wonder so many people register their pets as emotional support animals. West Coast Recovery Centers understands the incredible amount of support that animals can have on wellbeing, especially during recovery. We offer equine therapy as one of our many therapeutic resources to help imitate this pet-owner bond in a clinical setting. It is important to know if you are ready for the large responsibility before getting a household pet at home. Call (760) 492-6509 today.