Feeling blue? A pet’s affection can help!

* From our friends at Katzenworld

How pets can help beat winter blues

Feeling down in the dumps? Next Monday is ‘Blue Monday’; believed to be the most depressing day of the year.

The Christmas excitement is well and truly over, we’re back to normal routines, it’s dark outside and the weather’s cold and grey – it’s no wonder the nation is feeling glum. But amidst the darkness, there is light. Pets can benefit our mental and physical health, as many who own them will attest.

PDSA Vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, said: “One great thing about owning a pet is that they offer unconditional love. From the knowledge you’ll have a friendly greeting when you get home to help you get out and enjoy a nice walk in the fresh air, or break the ice when meeting other people, there are many benefits of pet ownership.”

PDSA research shows that pets can be a positive influence on our lives. According to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, 94% of cat, dog and rabbit owners report that owning a pet makes them happy.

The Report also found that the majority of those surveyed believe their pets have a direct beneficial impact on both their physical and mental wellbeing. According to the research, 91% of dog owners report that owning a pet makes them physically or mentally healthier.

Looking after pets can help to add structure to people’s lives, with regular feeding and exercise to add to the day’s task list. As well as the physical benefits of taking them for walks, dog owners can also enjoy social benefits such as the greater opportunity to meet new people and fellow dog owners.

Olivia added: “Owning a pet is so rewarding, and it’s no wonder so many owners view their pets as members of the family. Caring for our pets can provide focus and purpose, which can be particularly important for vulnerable and lonely people. Responsible pet ownership can be a huge benefit in helping us lead happier, healthy lives.”

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