How owning a pet can help with stress reduction

As a Wahroonga pet hospital, we know firsthand that pet ownership has a lot of positives. But did you know that your family pet can also help with stress reduction?

wahroonga pet hospital

Photo by John Salzarulo

In this high pressure world, more and more people are facing stressful days. Work is increasing, job insecurity is also on the rise and our pressure to perform is high. Sydney has expensive house prices, massive amounts of traffic and while we love this gorgeous city, it’s also a tough place to be at times.

So it stands to reason that many people are looking to pet ownership to help reduce stress and put life back into perspective.

Here is a list compiled by our Wahroonga pet hospital staff on some of the ways pets help us get through the stressful times

Positive routines are in built

Routines are a great way to reduce the chaos and stress in our lives. As much as we might resist boundaries, humans generally thrive when they are in place. Routines are an excellent way to establish boundaries.

With pet ownership, routines are in built. In the early stages such as with a kitten or puppy, training and developing manners are required. These in turn require regular routines and repeating of lessons to stick.

Every day consists of little routines to follow to keep your pet happy and healthy. There’s morning and evening feedings. Exercise and play are other important daily routines. Then you have less frequent but no less important routines such as cleaning up kitty litter or the backyard after toileting. There’s grooming to keep coats happy and healthy. Plus routine visit’s to the vet for desexing, immunisation and general health care.

Pet ownership gives us a bunch of routines to follow that also promote organisation and order. That’s why they are ideal for elderly members of the family that are looking for something or someone to focus on. They are also good for teaching children responsibility while also giving the adults more than work to think about.

The act of caring for a pet on a regular basis helps us step out of our heads and think about the wider world. Feel free to consult with our Wahroonga pet hospital staff on what pet may be the right one to match with your particular needs.

It encourages you to exercise

Exercise and movement helps us to reduce stress. Puppies and dogs are great for encouraging us to exercise and get out in the great outdoors. They love things like hiking, the beach, going to the park or talking a walk around the neighbourhood. All of this is great stress reduction through exercise and by enjoying nature.

Kittens and cats aren’t without their exercise benefits either. Cats are great climbers and can give you a run for your money if you have room for a climbing stack or climbing wall. Adding a little resistance training to your life through Yoga and Pilates planking with your cat in tow can be quite fun. And activities such as hide and seek, table hockey and even backyard agility courses can be used to exercise your cat with some benefit to you.

Pet ownership can encourage exercise and movement and therefore reduce stress as a by-product.

Enjoy the lighter side of life

One thing we’ve learnt from the many years we’ve been running our Wahroonga pet hospital is that you can’t take life too seriously when you are a pet owner. Here are unique personalities in fur, fin and feather. Once a pet starts to trust you, they usually let it all hang out. You soon discover if you have an adventurous cat or a couch potato. Your dog may be brave against thunder and the postie but have a weird thing for fans and socks. Your lizard could really love bopping along to contemporary jazz and perhaps you’ve encountered the smarty pants parrot that is good for a joke.

We’ve met every single personality you can possibly http://laparkan.com/buy-tadalafil/ think of at our vet surgery but we’re surprised on a regular basis with the funny, fabulous and freaky things pets will do.

One of the best gifts of pet ownership is that you can’t take yourself too seriously. Our pets remind us to play, have fun, to make mistakes, to be bold and try. They inspire us with kindness, cleverness and quirky behaviours.

Grounding, love and humour are great stress beaters- which is awesome because pets are very talented in each of these areas.

A pet’s love is unconditional

Some days are definitely tougher than others. You can have a hard day at work, be stuck in hours of traffic, deal with some heartache and still come home to a familiar face that wants to snuggle up.

Pet cuddles are wonderful after a hard day. The purring cat on the lap as we casually stroke their back and watch TV is brilliant for smoothing down a rough day. The snoring dog at our feet with a head resting comforting on a foot is friendship with four paws and a tail. The bird nibbling at our neck or the rabbit wanting a chat on the back step with a cup of tea help us feel contented and loved.

Patting, snuggling with and engaging a pet has been proved to lower our heart rates, reduce stress and aid in focusing on the present moment. All of these things help us when times are difficult.

Pet ownership is a contract between you and your pet to look after each other. They are fantastic at picking up on micro expressions and providing comfort without words. Unlike friends that want to jump in with advice, pets listen. They don’t have an opinion or a reason to judge you. They simply want to make sure you are OK.

And that’s the best medicine on a stressful day. You can even see it in action at our Wahroonga pet hospital. Many of the vet nurses bring their dogs in and Dr Alex even brings his lovely rescue greyhound Neneh into keep the calm for pet and pet parent alike.

Pet ownership considerations

While pets are great for reducing stress, it’s always good to recognise that pet ownership does come with some stresses and considerations of its own. At our Wahroonga pet hospital, we’ll do our best to advise on the kind of pet that is right for your family.

Here are some considerations to start the pet ownership conversation with your family:

Training your pet- all young animals need training and proper guidelines. They have to be socialised well to minimise the stress of unwanted behaviours. So always ensure you have time for training of toileting, manners and to ensure they behave well.

Affording pet care – feeding and looking after a pet’s health can place extra stress on a tight budget. Always consider the cost of yearly vet visits, pet insurance, and early stage costs such as immunisation and desexing plus regular occurrences such as feeding, grooming and general health maintenance.

Added responsibility- pets look to us to help them with their basic needs, their emotional support, physical exercise and more. If your life is currently stressful, this additional responsibility needs to be a positive experience as opposed to another obligation added to an already big list.

Choosing right pet for your circumstances

At Fox Valley Animal Hospital, our vets and vet nurses are all pet owners. We understand pet ownership obligations and requirements from both the personal and professional side of the fence. If you are considering a new pet, we’re more than happy to talk to you about your lifestyle, budget and what you want from the pet ownership experience to help you choose the right pet for you.

If you think now is the great time to add a new positive dimension to your life through pet ownership, give our Wahroonga pet hospital a call now on (02) 9489 4805. We’re happy to help you.

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.