A pet’s un­con­di­tional love can be used to treat de­pres­sion

The Citizen (KZN) - - FRONT PAGE -

Ask any pet par­ent what their favourite part of the day is and guar­an­teed it will be get­ting home to their beloved dog or cat; al­ways happy to see them, al­ways open to love.

Pet ther­apy has be­come a phe­nom­e­non, us­ing this un­con­di­tional love on those suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion.

Dr Guy Fyvie, Hill’s Pet Nu­tri­tion nu­tri­tional ad­vi­sor, says: “There’s ev­i­dence that pets can re­duce stress, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and in some cases even cure it. Peo­ple with pets are hap­pier, in­ter­act more with oth­ers and are less likely to visit the doc­tor.”

Pets have been found to in­crease their pet par­ent’s self-es­teem and help im­prove their so­cial skills. Why? Pets have an abil­ity to lift our spir­its just by be­ing there and are a great source of com­pan­ion­ship. Our pets are also en­ter­tain­ing – their crazy an­tics and lit­tle quirks of­ten have us in stitches.

Ever won­dered why watch­ing pet videos on YouTube makes you happy?

Our pets help us es­cape our daily stresses and make us laugh, which, in turn, releases those feel-good en­dor­phins.

Hav­ing a pet gives you a pur­pose. Walk­ing, feed­ing, pam­per­ing, brush­ing and play­ing will get you up and mov­ing (if not for you, then be­cause your pet needs your at­ten­tion and care).

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