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February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day a special occasion dedicated to celebrating the bond between humans and their beloved pets. It’s a day to shower your furry, feathered, or scaly friends with love, attention, and appreciation. Having a pet can have numerous positive mental health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Interacting with pets, such as petting a dog or stroking a cat, can release oxytocin (the “feel-good” hormone) and reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), leading to a calming effect on the body.
  • Improved Mood: Spending time with pets can boost mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. The companionship and unconditional love provided by pets can offer emotional support during difficult times.
  • Increased Physical Activity: Owning a pet often involves regular physical activity, such as walking a dog or playing with a cat, which can contribute to improved physical health and overall well-being.
  • Social Support and Connection: Pets can serve as social facilitators, helping their owners connect with others. For example, walking a dog can lead to interactions with other pet owners in the neighbourhood, fostering a sense of community and reducing feelings of loneliness.
  • Sense of Purpose and Responsibility: Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose and responsibility, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with mental health issues. Having a pet to care for can increase feelings of self-worth and motivation.
  • Routine and Structure: Pets thrive on routine, and caring for them can help establish a sense of structure in one’s daily life. This routine can be especially beneficial for individuals with mental health conditions who may struggle with organization and consistency.
  • Mindfulness and Presence: Interacting with pets encourages mindfulness and being present in the moment. Focusing on the needs and behaviours of a pet can distract from negative thoughts and worries, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
  • Improved Self-Esteem: The unconditional love and acceptance provided by pets can boost self-esteem and self-confidence. Pets don’t judge their owners and offer unwavering affection, which can help individuals feel more confident and valued.

In PsyMood’s podcast, episode 4, Ranj Heer, a renowned therapist living in the Vancouver area, shares her insights on how home pets can help improve mental health and overall well-being. She talks about the mental health benefits of pet ownership and shares her expertise on how pets can provide companionship, reduce stress, and improve overall mental health. 

Tune in to discover the positive impact of caring for a pet, which can bring joy and purpose to your life and improve your mental and emotional health. Ranj’s expertise on the subject will provide valuable insights into the benefits of having a furry companion at home. 

PsyMood is a digital tool designed to help you find the support you need in the language you are most comfortable with. PsyMood considers cultural background, geographical location, interests, and personal needs, amongst other factors, to pair you with service providers for online or in-person therapy sessions.

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Related Posts: Pawsitive Healing: Power of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), Nature’s Healing Power: How Connecting with the Outdoors Can Improve Your Mental Health

Bio: Ranj Heer, Therapist

Ranj Heer, is a Professional Therapeutic Counsellor, Life Coach; and recent Graduate from Rhodes Wellness College. She is a mother to 3 empowered young women. She has over 25 years of experience in Wellness Coaching, Personal Fitness Training and Yoga Instruction. She utilizes a person-centred approach and works with CBT, DBT, Early Childhood Attachments, Gestalt Therapy, and Gottman’s Couples Counselling and is a Trauma trauma-informed counsellor. Ranj is passionate about sharing Psychoeducation, so her clients are well-informed about the therapeutic approaches that are used during their sessions. Ranj offers you a safe and confidential space to bring new perspectives to the difficulties that you may be experiencing. We all have a story and experiences that differ in nature; she offers you a chance to explore yourself in depth with confidence. You are the architect of your life; but sometimes our designs can be derailed, by a multitude of factors. Ranj is here to help you stay on course to achieve an empowered life. You not only hold the Key to unlocking your potential; you are the Key.

Book a FREE 15-minute intake session with one of our Specialists!

Listen to the full episode below or read the transcript here:

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