1. They lower your stress
Numerous studies have been carried out into the positive power of pets, and many owners report a wealth of benefits, including lower stress levels and reduced depression rates.
2. They love unconditionally
Unlike our fellow humans, four-legged friends are without judgments, opinions or critiques, and offer their owners unconditional love.
3. They keep you moving
It’s been well documented that regular exercise can help improve mental health, and when you factor a furry friend into the equation, chances are you’ll be upping your physical activity. Whether you take your dog for a long and leisurely walk or simply a quick game of catch, you’ll be adding bursts of activity into your day for both you and your pet pooch.
4. They offer a sense of purpose
All of us at times can lack a sense of purpose and becoming a pet owner can add an element of responsibility, which experts say can also help with wellbeing. Having a pet adds a new and positive focus to its owners’ life and can remind us of our own value and importance.
5. They boost your social life
Whether you live alone and your dog provides you with some much-needed companionship, or you use your four-legged friend to socialise with other like-minded pet owners, dogs can add an important social aspect into your life; which can undoubtedly be a great help.
6. They give you a routine
Having a pet will introduce a daily schedule, which can help those with depression. An animal's natural routine – from being walked to fed and watered – will help its owner stay on track.
7. They promote touch
Much is known about the healing power of touch, and what better way of introducing this into your daily life than through regular sessions of nuzzling your pet? One study found that patting your dog for just 10-minutes can reduce your stress levels.
8. They offer distraction
Much like yoga – which is well known for its healing properties – pets can encourage their owners to be present by taking them out of their heads and into a different reality. Offering a loveable and furry distraction can be invaluable to anyone.