- Unconditional acceptance – pets accept us as we are, warts and all. They don’t judge us for being emotional, odd, eccentric or unusual.
- An intimate and secure relationship – pets need us to care for them and often we find that we need them too in order to express that loving side of us that might not have found expression with other people.
- A sense of responsibility – as pets need us to care for them, in a similar way to children, this can add a sense of purpose to our lives
- Social interaction – particularly with dogs they provide an excuse to talk to other people, at a distance now obviously. For some this can be the only source of contact they have with anyone else in a day and some great friendships have grown this way.
- Exercise – again, particularly with dogs, they need walking every day so this means we have to go out too. We all know how important exercise is for our mental health!
At a time when social interaction is reduced and we can’t access the things we might usually do in order to fill our days, pets can provide the distraction we need to fill our lives and reduce any time we might find ourselves feeling lonely and isolated. So maybe we should have a clap for the pets day as well as the frontline workers clap on a Thursday!?
Stay safe and give your pet an extra big cuddle today if you have one 🙂