Pets and Mental Health | The Benefits of Pet Ownership for Wellbeing and Happiness

2017-11-20 |

 

 

From the first domesticated wolf many millennia ago through to the Insta-dogs of today, one thing is pretty clear about humans – we just can’t get enough of animals! We’ve lived alongside them for thousands of years and they’ve helped us every step along the way.

In the past, civilisations made epic journeys on horseback, hunted wild beasts with their hounds and learned the secrets of farming animals like sheep, goats and chickens. And beyond these practical tasks, animals were (and still are) revered in many cultures. In Ancient Egypt, cats were held as sacred and the representatives of the gods, whilst cows have retained great significance in religions like Hinduism.

Nowadays, we're more likely to keep animals as pets than anything else, with a recent survey estimating that 57% of the world’s population have a pet! And although things are less dangerous than they were for our ancestors (our day to day lives tend to involve a bit less hunting and a bit more office work!), all these animals are still still doing a world of good.That's because we're in the midst of a stress epidemic , with four out of five adults feeling stressed during a typical week, and 1 in 4 experiencing a mental health problem each year (the most common issues being anxiety and depression). The good news is that having a pet has been shown to have amazing benefits for mental health and wellbeing! We’ve put together this infographic to show you some of the incredible facts and figures around pets and mental health...