I am thinking of adopting a dog or cat from a local rescue facility.  I have heard that both dogs and cats can enhance our lives.  I suffer from mild depression and wonder if adopting a pet will help ease my symptoms and make me happier.

Can adopting a pet help with depression?

Can adopting a pet help with depression?  Yes, adopting a pet can help with symptoms of mild depression.  Pets provide us with many health benefits linked to our mental and physical well-being.  Having a pet changes our lifestyle by increasing our physical activity. Pets teach us to spend more time outdoors and help create natural moments to socialize with others.  These lifestyle changes can help decrease symptoms of mild depression in those who suffer.  While a pet can never replace a professional physician’s guidance, they do have the ability to make us smile more often and bring joy to our life.

Depression can be a temporary or life-long chronic medical illness that affects every area of our life.   Characterized as a mood disorder, it creates varying depths of sadness and lack of interest in life.  Symptoms can vary from one person to another and make it hard for the individual to live a healthy, happy life.  Having a dog or cat to care for and love naturally fights symptoms of this condition.

Those who may believe they are suffering from depression should seek medical evaluation and can also discover internet resources for help. Proper diagnosis is essential since these symptoms can also be signs of other health conditions.

Those who suffer from depression will find happiness in having a furry companion because the dog or cat will require that they engage in life. Activities like feeding a beloved pet, and taking them for a run at the dog park can help naturally ease symptoms while promoting a more social and engaging lifestyle.

Like a well-trusted friend, a furry best friend is a companion that will love their owner until the bitter end.   They provide companionship at any hour of the day or night when sadness might strike.  Pets always have an ear to listen, no matter how many times their owner tells the same story.

The dinner table will never be lonely, and they are almost always up for playtime.  Adopting a pet for those who suffer from diagnosed and treated mild depression can also provide comfort, security, and happiness through having to care for another.  In this way, those suffering must engage in life and forget about their sadness.

Is it safe for a depressed person to adopt a pet?

Yes and no.  This answer depends on the extent of depression.  Those suffering from mild depression will have no problem adopting and caring for a pet.

Specific individuals struggling with moderate to major depression may have a harder time caring for an adoptive pet.  These individuals must consult a physician before adopting any pet to ensure that they will adequately care for the new dog or cat.

How else does adopting a pet promote good health?

There are many ways that pets help promote good health and a healthy lifestyle.  Aside from having a cute and cuddly fur baby around to hug and snuggle, they can also enhance our health in the following ways:

  • Chase away loneliness
  • Promote physical health and exercise
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Create stronger social relationships
  • Naturally, aid in relaxation
  • Aid in heart health
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Create structure in our lives and increase self-discipline
  • Increased immunity and protection against allergies
  • Aid in childhood development and wellness
  • Provide comic relief and laughter

Potential health benefits vary from one person to another, depending on their personality, physical ability, and lifestyle.  Adopting a pet can change a person’s life on many levels by bringing us unconditional happiness, companionship, and love.

What should I do if I want to adopt a pet?

For those who want to adopt a dog or cat but have pre-existing mental, emotional, or physical health conditions, it is best to consult with their doctor before doing so.

Once done, then adopting a pet is as simple as using the internet to locate a local animal rescue facility that can help on the journey to adoption.  They can guide individuals to which pets would be best for their unique situation, ensuring the best fit for pet and owner.  This guidance helps reduce the possibility of a pet being returned to the facility later.

In Conclusion

Depression and other health conditions can sometimes make it hard for us to live a happy and fulfilling lifestyle.  With our current global situation, many of us find ourselves feeling sad and depressed.  Read our previous blog post to discover if adoption is a good choice right now.

Thankfully, with their natural zest for life, and loving nature, pets will always find a way to bring happiness to our lives by being who they are!  Imagine how boring and lonely we would be without them!