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Pets and Mental Health: What’s the Connection?

According to a 2016 study by the Human Animal Bond Research Clinic, “74 percent of pet owners reported mental health benefits from owning pets.” Emotional support provided by animals has prompted significant improvements in patients’ mental well-being. A 2018 analysis of 17 prior research papers looked at the many ways that pets assisted with the job of managing a mental illness.

In a 2014 research, scientists sought to determine how animal contact affects mental health and well-being, and whether animals might be able to assist in the treatment of several psychiatric disorders. Animals may play an important role in improving human mental health according to a study published in 2014.They discovered eight common themes in the advantages of animal involvement for mental health, including company and comfort, social interaction, social skills and belonging, structure and balance, assisting others, learning and life skills, sense of achievement, fun and enjoyment. Playing with a pet can also boost levels of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, all “feel good” neurochemicals associated with happiness, love, and pleasant emotions.

I’ve always liked dogs. I’ve also battled anxiety and sadness for as long as I can remember. These two facts have been critical to my sense of self since I first recognized them. Without the dogs that have left their footprints on my heart, my mental health wouldn’t be what it is today.

Before I obtain my emotional support animal,

Since I was a child, I’ve struggled with my mental health, from recurring night terrors to bullying, frequently retreating into reading as a way to dissociate. I always felt alone and adrift in the world. Animals have always been one of my main interests.I wanted a dog for each Christmas and birthday, but instead I got turtles, fish, and hamsters. My first pets may not have been the puppy I imagined, but they taught me how to care for something other than myself. In a way that I never had with people, I connected with these creatures. It sparked an intense passion for animals, and since then I’ve always had at least one pet in my life.

I didn’t get that dog until I was in college. When I was 21, my mental health was at an all-time low. My close friends had abandoned the city where we grew up, and I felt lonely and adrift. Because I couldn’t leave my bed, I missed classes because to my grades declining, losing scholarships as a result of poor performance, alienating family and friends because I had no idea how to connect with them anymore. Because I couldn’t even muster enough interest to care about getting better, I made no attempts to enhance my mental health.

My ESA – Emotional Support Animal

Then there was Harlow. One day I passed by a gas station where puppies were kept in a cage, seeking homes, and she was there. Harlow transformed my life when she showed up. A pet’s love for you is unselfish and unconditional; there are no motives or expectations involved. Harlow just wanted to be near to me, even when I was upset or fatigued or immersed in a book. She simply existed as my emotional support animal before the term “emotional support animal” became popular.

Sosuke and Harlow – Mental Health and Pets

At some point, looking after her assisted me in taking better care of myself. I began to get out of bed not for my sake, but for Harlow’s because she needed me. It wasn’t nearly as difficult to live another day when it was spent with her by my side. I was discovering happiness all around me, and though I still went through horrible times on occasion, I wasn’t alone in them anymore. Harlow was my Emotional Support Animal in every sense of the word. She was there for me when I had to move away from home and transfer colleges, she was with me during my beloved grandmother’s passing, she was there as we relocated again to New York, and she has been with me through all of life’s ups and downs into my thirties.

Getting a new ESA

I’m 35 years old now, and Harlow is no longer with me. She died in 2019, which was one of the most difficult periods in my life, but I’m still here. I don’t believe I would be here today if it weren’t for her love and support over the last 12 years. Because she needed me, I had to stay because she gave me the strength and desire to keep living after she left. Having a dog did not cure my depression; instead, it provided me with the emotional support that allowed me to care about my mental health.

I felt it was time to acquire a new pet a year after losing Harlow. I understood how wonderful it is to have a loved animal by your side when you’re going through a hard time. Pets are also an excellent method to overcome sadness after the death of a loved one, and I was missing her presence beside me. Sosuke, my one-year-old shih tzu, is now with me every day to remind me that there’s value in getting out of bed.

Pet Mental Health

Humans aren’t the only ones who suffer from sadness, worry, tension, or bereavement. Every day, pets live with and reflect our emotions. They are strongly influenced by our feelings and behaviors, and we should be conscious of how our bad energy might harm their mental health. We owe it to our pets to look after their mental well-being, especially while they are assisting us in coping with our own issues.

I knew I had to look after myself for her because Harlow was mimicking me and my emotions on a daily basis. I wanted to make sure she received all the assistance she required as well. When we were apart, she experienced extreme separation anxiety. Because I’d used cannabis for my mental health, I chose to try CBD for Harlow’s separation anxiety. Using CBD Dog Health’s CALM: CBD oil for dogs, I obtained stunning results. Harlow was no longer able to shake or cry when I left home, which allowed me to leave without panicking.

Sosuke calm during thunderstorms – pet mental health

Sosuke is also experiencing separation anxiety, noise anxiety, and grooming anxiety. I use Companna CBD Oil on Sosuke, and she can sleep through storms without shaking or panting when I use it. ​I’m grateful that I was able to find a method to help my pets’ mental health in the same way that they help me.

Final Thoughts

Although the benefits of pet friendship are well recognized, adopting a dog or other animal is still a significant commitment. In the majority of scenarios, a dog is dependent on its owner and, in all likelihood, DEMANDS time and money. Especially if you’re thinking about a puppy, which requires a lot of attention and training in the first year. If a puppy isn’t appropriate for your current situation, consider adopting an older pet from a shelter. Other fantastic choices if you just want the benefits of a pet without the commitment are to sit for friends, walk your neighbor’s dog, or volunteer at an animal shelter. Getting a dog was the greatest decision I ever made for my mental health, and even if it isn’t the best option for you, I’ve learned that there is pleasure to be found if we search for it. If you want to help your pooch too, then you should look into CBD oil for dogs and CBD for pets.