Pets and your mental health

Pets can have a great benefit on our mental health. Previous generations encouraged pet ownership for their children. They believed pets helped children learn responsibility, empathy and care and duty. It worked two ways as well. With an animal’s instinctive ability to sense and return care and support, they provide companionship and one of the greatest examples unconditional love towards their owners.

Pets can provide a safe-haven for children who may be feeling sad, anxious, lonely or misunderstood. We have all seen how close some people can be with their pets. Studies have shown that bond to be as strong as relationships with human partners and friends.

Making Retreat South South a pet friendly environment was an important decision. We know the importance pets can have in some peoples’ lives and that being able to bring them helps in recovery. We have our own pets at Retreat South, like Chicko the labradoodle. That’s Chicko in the picture.

Animals and pets can provide enormous pathological benefits to us. The benefits are not just psychological. In the UK pet ownership is linked to reduced visits to doctors and reduces costs to the health services there by up to £2.45 billion per year!

This might be evidence from studies that dog owners in particular had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t own a dog. It seems that a pet has a calming effect. With dogs, because they need exercise and get taken for walks, it benefits them and their owner (or whoever takes them for the walks). But the calming effect from owning a dog seems to be that, if you have a dog, your heart rate and blood pressure go up less and return to normal quicker.

Touching pets also appears to be an important factor. Studies have also shown that just patting a dog reduces blood pressure. The studies also showed dog ownership evidenced lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Talk to us today about how we can accommodate you, and your pet, and begin your recovery.

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