How pets help in coping with mental illness during social isolation – Michael Osland explains

September 28, 2021
Michael Osland

Michael Osland

How important is your pet? Your dog or cat may be a friend, family, and house member, but the definition changed when covid shook the whole world. You and many more felt a different bond and connection with their pets. Pets of all kinds show great support in eliminating the stress level in tough times. When covid resulted in social isolation and disconnect for everyone, the furry creatures became the ultimate support. 

Animals serve human beings for several purposes – household pal, cancer detection, physical aid, and support during the depression. Several studies prove that animals help lower blood pressure, reduce allergies in children, calm adults during panic attacks, and boost overall mental health. 

Michael Osland reinstates saying that the dog is one of the best stressbusters during pandemic times. When you feel shut down and restless, cuddle your pet and feel the difference. When you have pets, you have more reasons to go for walks and perform outdoor activities. Dog walks are another ideal way of connecting with people socially. There will be more dog walkers in the area, and you will get better opportunities for human interaction during tough times. It helps in boosting psychological wellness.

Talk and share your feelings with the pets. A dog is a great companion in sensing negative thoughts and helps in removing sadness. A simple tummy stroke or back rub will do wonders for both of you. Your hound will enjoy the affection, and this would generate positive hormones in your body.

Enjoy long walks and frequent snuggles with furry friends. If you have feather friends, try teaching them a new word or sound. Interaction with animals is a very positive exerciser for people combating loneliness. 

Jump into the pool together. A swimming pool would bring tremendous happiness to dogs. If you have smaller pets like hermit crab or hamster, you can set up an activity box for them. Observe how much a hamster enjoys running on the spin wheel. You could set up a small additional tropical island for your hermit. Sharing small things for your pets will add immense joy to your life. 

Michael Osland suggests being ready for your fur friend!

When your fur friend helps you during tough times, it becomes your responsibility also to support them. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests always keep an emergency kit ready for your pets. This kit should contain essential supplies for at least 2-3 weeks. 

Keep some first aid also like essential medication relevant to your pet. Mark and label everything for ready use. Then inform some of your friends or dear ones who can help you in case of emergency. There are chances that you seek help and are unable to take care of your pet, and at that time, this kit would come in handy for your friends who shall take care of your pet in your absence. Also, inform the friend about the local veterinary care you seek for your pet. The relationship between your pet and you is special so safeguard it.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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