I have always had a minimum of two pets while growing up. My mom was quite the animal lover, and had a hard time going without a lovable companion at her side. Needless to say, her love of animals rubbed off on me, and I have found that having pets has been one of life’s greatest joys. Being a pet owner has not only taught me responsibility, but it has also helped in soothing my anxious mind and overwhelming emotions.

In many ways, having pets has made me feel better and healthier. I have gone through many struggles, but my pets have never left my side or abandoned me. They have taught me so much, and have assisted in easing my worries and the daily stresses that I face.

Here below are a few important reasons why having a pet can help calm your anxieties, worries and also improve your overall physical and mental health.

A Cat Giving a High FIve

They are a responsibility

Having a pet is a big responsibility, especially if you bring home something like a new puppy. Pets have veterinarian visits and grooming needs. They also have to be fed, let out and loved. Pets are something positive that depends on you, and keeps your mind occupied (in a good way).

They love you through the good, the bad and the ugly

When you have a bad day at work, or you are just in a grumpy mood for no reason, pets will stick beside you. Their love, or loyalty, isn’t determined by one bad day or moment from you. You never question their love, because they aren’t influenced so easily and they love you unconditionally. You don’t have to worry, or feel anxious, about making them mad or in disappointing them. Pets will stick beside you and always make you feel good about yourself.

They get you outside and exercising

I love getting outside with my dog, especially for a nice walk on a beautiful day. I not only get some exercise, but it also helps in clearing my mind and my racing thoughts. My dog also gets a workout in, which is always good for her health as well.

Getting outside is also invigorating. The fresh air is soothing and the exercise always makes me feel so much better, both physically and emotionally. While you may not necessarily need a pet to take a walk, I can say that it’s so much nicer to have a companion by your side.

"Being able to let go of something is not only a breakaway from resentment, but also a testament in our ability in being a stronger person."

They teach you about forgiveness and letting go

Have you ever noticed that a dog, or cat, treats most everyone the same, no matter who they are or what they have done? While as humans we stress over certain situations or in dealing people who may have hurt in the past, pets seem to forget all the strife and just focus on the moment they are in. It’s admirable, but also extremely hard to do. While I understand that many scenarios are hard to move past, there are times that holding onto a grudge is not worth losing someone, or your well-being, over.

As humans, we may want to hold onto resentment because we feel as though we have power over someone. In reality, the only thing we are holding on to is fear, anxiety and anger. Pets teach us that forgiveness is freedom, and a release from emotions that only make us feel worse. Being able to let go of something is not only a breakaway from resentment, but also a testament in our ability in being a stronger person.

I have never regretted bringing a pet into my life. They have brought me joy, and have stuck beside me through my battles of anxiety and depression. Their loyalty has never faltered, and their love has always been unconditional. Having pets has not only given me a better quality of life, but in return, they have also taught me about leading a better one as well.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Anatole France