PetSafe® Brand Australia has this month partnered with Dr Leigh Plummer, a Sydney-based clinical psychologist to further explore the benefits of pet ownership, specifically how owning a pet can help to improve the lifestyle of those suffering mental health issues.
One in four people across the globe will at some point in their lives suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. Closer to home that figure is said to be around 45 per cent of the total Australian population.
Experiencing a mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, can be a daily battle, and is often the result of long periods of isolation, social rejection and stigma. However, there is some research showing that owning and caring for a pet can help to support your mental health by improving social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
With this in mind, PetSafe® Brand Australia and Dr Plummer are advocating pet ownership to help improve the lives of those suffering mental health conditions. They list five main benefits of pet ownership:
- Pet ownership can lead to more engaging and physical activity.
- Owning a pet can help to boost social interactions and lower isolation issues.
- Pets provide 24/7 companionship which helps improve mood and reduce loneliness for people living alone.
- Owning a pet provides a person with daily routines which, in turn, can boost mood and stop feelings of sadness.
- Pets are great listeners, cuddlers and companions. They can provide those who suffer from fears, anxiety or depression comfort and unconditional support and love.
While some pets might be better than others for people to own, Dr Plummer said the choice of animal was ultimately a personal one. “What are you hoping to get out of caring for the pet and how will it fit into—or improve—your current lifestyle situation? I think every animal has its own individual personality which makes caring for a pet all the more rewarding!”