Can one get emotional support pets for anxiety?
If you have an anxiety disorder or suffer panic attacks from time to time, remember you are not alone. You belong to a global group of over 300 million people who suffer from some level of anxiety. Many people have turned to pets to help alleviate anxiety and they’ve seen amazing results. To learn how animals like dogs and cats help with anxiety, love is all colors is showing you how helpful they can be. Read more…
Why you should consider pets for anxiety sufferers
Of the ways recommended in battling anxiety, did you know that having a pet is an effective means of handling the effects of anxiety and depression? I guess you didn’t. Animals like dogs have been known to sense when their owners feel down and under. They are often inclined to being around, quietly but solidly beside their owners, offering support and a cuddle.
A pet may not offer words on marble or crack a joke to lift a sour mood. However, these animals show high levels of intuitiveness and adapt to prevailing circumstances in subtle ways, especially when their owner is not feeling well.
So how do dogs help with anxiety?
The following are ways anxiety pets can help you fend off the disorder, otherwise known as the “pet effect”:
Pets love cuddling
Cuddling time is every time with most anxiety pets. And you will find out that when you tickle, poke and hold these animals, you get to release feel-good hormones in your system, that helps take your mind off the feelings of anxiety you might be experiencing. There is also the satisfaction that comes with seeing your pet respond extravagantly to your playful antics and touches.
Pets can help you get your social groove back on
In those times when your dog forces you off the couch to take it for a walk or run, chances are high that you will come across fellow dog owners, engaging in the same activity.
Conversing with other people makes you stay socially connected and active, which often results in feeling less withdrawn. This study states that pets are facilitators of getting to meet people, friendship formation and creating social support groups or networks.
If you want to beat your feelings of anxiety and make new acquaintances, take your pet for a walk.
If you have a pet, engaging in a walk or some other exercise/physical activity is another means of battling anxiety. You will find that that time spent outdoors breaking a sweat, will leave you energized and buoyed enough to face your worries/fears productively.
Tips when considering pets for anxiety sufferers
If you do decide to get a pet to help you mitigate the effects of anxiety and depression, let the following tips guide you:
Go for the right pet
Before you choose a pet, you must consider factors such as how much time, energy and finances you have and can dedicate to caring for it. Dogs, for instance, are deemed high-maintenance because most breeds require regular attention and nurturing. Cats, on the other hand, need minimal care and attention.
Can you remain committed?
Owning a pet is often a long-term project. You need to consider that common household pets like cats and dogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. In that period, caring and nurturing the animal is your prerogative. If you cannot devote the time and attention, then it might not be wise owning a pet.
Interact often with your pet
Create an enduring bond with your pets and anxiety will be a stone throw away. This can be done by playing and other activities. For breeds that love cuddling, go out of your way to give it a massage and cuddles from time to time.
Allergic reactions to pet fur and other substances should weigh heavily on the mind of sufferers of anxiety. One way to find out is by visiting friends who already have pets. If you are allergic, then you need to consult a doctor before getting one.
So if you or a loved one suffer the effects of anxiety or depression, turning to pets for relief may be the way to go. So do pets help with anxiety? I’ll say they do. But you should also seek the help of a professional on whether you can own a pet or not, or if you have some kind of allergic reaction to pet fur.
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