Pets: A Key For Creating Better Mental Health (and Bad Karma)

May 13, 2024

Pets, Mental health. . . & Karma

Pets are cute.

Little fluffy dogs, cute little cats, rabbits with floppy ears. . .

I’m sure you’re smiling inside as you imagine their adorable little faces and their soft, silky fur.

But the new news is that as well as being lovable companions, pet ownership offers legitimate mental health benefits.

But it’s a two-way street.

At least it SHOULD be.

With so many pets now being used as social media stars (we’ll get to that in a minute), we have to ask whether we are doing anything good for THEIR mental health.

After all, they’re living beings. They have a mind. And that mind, just like ours, can be hurt.

The fact of the matter is, if we underestimate the importance of attending to our pets’ mental health, and focus instead on our bank balance, we’re not only mistreating another living being, we’re also in store for some nasty karma payback somewhere down the line.

An influencer with her celebrity dog, posing for the camera

Mental Health and Well-being

It’s not just some new-age nonsense — there’s actual science behind how pets can help your mental well-being.

Several studies have shown that interacting with furry companion animals increases oxytocin levels (the “cuddle hormone” that makes you feel all warm ‘n fuzzy inside) and lowers cortisol (the stress hormone that makes you want to scream out loud or pull all your hair out!).

As well as making you happier and reducing stress, pets also help lower blood pressure.

They can also be a cure for loneliness.

So yep, it’s a fact: Pets are great for your well-being (depending on the pet, of course: keeping a deranged chimpanzee at home might have some adverse effects on your mental health).

One reason for pets boosting mental health is that pet owners enjoy the love and companionship they provide — especially in the case of dogs and cats.

prehistoric man with his dog

The Connection

Dogs and humans have a bond that stretches back thousands of years since we first domesticated them around 15,000 BC.

So it’s really no surprise that of all the animals in the world, we prefer spending time with our dogs more than any other.

Why? Because they fulfill a deeper psychological need for companionship and unconditional love that so many of us crave (consciously OR unconsciously).

While cats are cute too, there’s just something special about having an insanely excited, loyal pup greet you at the door every day, no matter how crappy your day was.

So it makes total sense that given the choice, we’d pick hanging out with our four-legged friends over anything else with fur or feathers.

But that might not always be best for the dog.

Pet Celebrities

The savvier influencers out there have caught on and started using their dogs (and other pets) to build their brand and cash in.

Some particularly cute or stylish pets have more followers than most human influencers!

(Yes, it really IS true — just ask Jiffpom, who has nearly 10 million followers. . .)

Now, there’s nothing fundamentally WRONG with that — as long as we don’t forget that our furry friends have feelings, too, and deserve to be treated with respect.

The Wrap

By all means, use your pet’s adorable face to build that brand.

But don’t forget to care for them properly, ensure their needs are met, and recognize they have a soul that deserves to be nurtured not exploited for cash.

If you create content responsibly and treat your pet right, you’ll not only avoid being a terrible pet owner — you’ll earn some genuine followers and friends in the process.


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