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Having a "pet"?

Discussion in 'Tips' started by JennyorAlice, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. JennyorAlice

    JennyorAlice Junior Member

    Does having a "pet" in your life help you with managing your mental health issue(s)? If so, how does that "pet" help you?
    AngelaMc likes this.
  2. listener1987

    listener1987 Moderator Staff Member

  3. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Junior Member

    I have a precious chihuahua. She is going on 16 years. She is the sweetest, smartest and most loving companion I could ever hope for. I am so blessed for the privilege of knowing this dog all these years. There will never be another like her. I love her. She has been very good for me.
  4. HappyKoi

    HappyKoi Junior Member

    I mentioned it on the other thread, but I have an ancient ( 6 years old) betta fish that has been with me through all kinds of tough times. He still counts as a friend and a pet to me, even though he's not furry or cuddly. Even though he's getting a bit sluggish as time goes on, he still makes an effort to swim up and say hello every morning. He matters to me, and I matter to him, and that's what's important.
    janemariesayed likes this.
  5. jennywren

    jennywren Junior Member

    Well, I had a dog that passed away in my 20s and I have still never been able to bond with an animal the way I did her. She was a 90lbs Doberman Shepard mix and was my best friend for 17 years. I still mourn for her.

    So while I think pets can help with emotional/mental issues:I also think the pain of losing them can be as bad as losing a person.
    janemariesayed likes this.
  6. Aree Wongwanlee

    Aree Wongwanlee Junior Member

    Yes, I had a similar issue with a pet. When I was a young boy, I had a pet dog. One day, while I was away on holiday, it had an accident with the sharp edge of an open tin can. Its paw was cut very badly. My father took it to the government vet. A couple of days later, my father came back with just its collar. Apparently, the wound had become infected and my pet dog was put down. I didn't get another pet dog for the next 40 years. A few years ago, I lived in a dog-friendly neighborhood and I got another pet dog. It was a purebred Bangkeaw, one of the two registered Thai dog breeds. Sadly, circumstances required that I move to a non-dog neighborhood and I had to give my pet dog to a good friend. I hope it is still alive and well. Yes, a pet is very much like any other member of the family.
    Ellie and listener1987 like this.
  7. listener1987

    listener1987 Moderator Staff Member

    I feel it can sometimes be even worse than losing a person. I feel like many people know when they are dying; they understand it, they understand the pain even though it's hard. Animals don't understand and they seem so innocent. And they don't wrong us like people do, so they're easier to love! <3 I still cry for all of my kitties that have died, and picture them romping in the grass in heaven, waiting for me. I know it's silly though =P
  8. Dove

    Dove Junior Member

    I do believe having pets helps a lot, because this sentient creatures can perceive your animic state. What I like about dogs is that they are truly loyal, and it feels they only see the good in you. If another species can see the good things on you, you must have something going on!
  9. snowball

    snowball Junior Member

    Rescue pets exist, so if anything, this tells us that pets CAN help in the recovery of people with severe health issues. I have pets myself (2 dogs and a cat), and although they are not rescue pets, or pets trained to help in the recovery of people, I feel that my pets have helped me cope with my demons. Without my 2 dogs and one cat, I wouldn't be as sociable as I am today. The kisses and hugs I get from my pets are priceless and they always make me feel happy and relaxed despite having had a terrible day at work. I'm not saying every person should have a pet, but it definitely helps people become better when they have a pet or two.
  10. John Snort

    John Snort Junior Member

    All pets can relieve stress and feelings of anxiety. Depression is often accompanied with feelings of loneliness but if you have a pet,their unconditional love will ease those feelings of loneliness. The knowledge that you are at times is all you need to make you feel better. And according to some people since having a pet forces people to be more responsible, you'll have to do things you otherwise wouldn't do. Take the dog for a walk? You will probably make you feel better afterwards because as you exercise your body releases endorphins which will make you feel good.
    janemariesayed likes this.
  11. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Pending

    Our dogs are our stress relievers. Having pets is a good way of keeping yourself calm when at home. Sometimes I become irritable and grouchy with people especially in the office. But at home there are our dogs who are very affectionate with humans. In fact,  our dogs sleep in our bedroom and it adds peace of mind to us. 
    janemariesayed likes this.
  12. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    It is true that our pets give us relief from stress and make us responsible. Some people though may not be able to take out their pets because of depressive agoraphobia. Small dogs and cats and other small pets are great for these sufferers as they still have to be responsible to the animal and are not obligated to take them out.

    My pets have been a God send to me. They keep me company all throughout the day and night and put up with any mood that I happen to be in. I love them so much and am so appreciative that they share their life with me.
  13. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    Jenny I always say that the best way to get over a pet is to get another one as soon as possible.

    It would be a totally different character and no way make up for the loss of losing one. It does help though to give your mind another pet to care for. It does help with coping with the loss. You can never replace a pet or a human who passes, but for sure, I know that my dog Sasha, who died one year ago (on the 11th Dec) would be very happy to know that puppy Carly has joined our household and Loopy (my avatar pic) is overjoyed to have a new playmate.

    Carly is not like any dog that I have had before. He is cheeky and crafty. He is stubborn and has been quite a handful to train. For example, he likes to sleep beside me, curled up next to me. During the night he will toss and turn and move the covers so they are not over me and I wake up with a cold back. Then I find that I have to get up to 'pull' Loopy over to the other side of the bed because both Loopy and Carly every ten minutes I'm sure, push their way over towards me a little bit. I have felt Carly's feet in my back pushing me towards the edge of the bed so I am left with about a ten inch width to sleep in.

    Carl is always getting under my feet and almost tripping me over and with the two of them running around playing eliminates any feelings of being alone. Having Carl has not just helped me immensely in getting over Sasha, it has helped Loopy too.
  14. to7update

    to7update Member

    It's really good to read your post, this just proves that there are things that can definitely make a difference, in your case your pets.

    Having a pet can work both ways though, as it can help us relieve stress, but it can also generate more stress, like for example if we have a dog that always barks to people and other dogs when we go to the street. I'd go for a cat simply for this reason.
    janemariesayed likes this.
  15. fuzyon

    fuzyon Member

    My dogs help by simply giving me tasks to do. Whether I feel like it or not they need attention and care in order to survive, they taught me to be disciplined in a way. Having a pet also reduces loneliness, my dogs are my best friends when my SO is not home, they feel like they're part of the family which is great.
  16. Natasha0717

    Natasha0717 Active Member

    I have had cats all my life, right now I have 5 (it's a whole family,) and I had 2 dogs, both rescues - for 12 years. They died last year, both of them, only a few months apart from each other. That was TOUGH. :( I took care of them as if they were my kids, even cooked dinner for them every night. We were all sort of a "gang" together, but then when my little guy passed away in October (last year, not this year)....everything got all messed up and it was just me and my other dog who I also loved/love dearly. I knew she wouldn't last very long after the other dog was gone, and she didn't. The only comfort for me was knowing that they were finally back together, but I also could feel them missing me, they wanted it to be like the old days with all three of us taking a walk outside at 2 a.m. and watching TV all night. But they were a true joy, having them for all of those years. It's just the part at the end, when you have to say goodbye....you need to be tough enough to handle it. I barely was.

    I've also been into fish keeping for over 20 years. I can't remember a time when I didn't have an active aquarium going. I know freshwater fish only, I have not gotten into saltwater. But I am really good at curing any fish illness and have been known to "rescue" fish from horrible conditions in stores that REALLY should not be selling fish as pets, simply because they have no clue how to care for them. Not to name any names (Walmart). :mad: Okay, I'll stop now. But yes, the fish keep me really busy and I love all my cats....(and of course my dogs - RIP).....but I just have such a hard time saying goodbye to them when their time comes. I wish God would let animals live as long as we do. ;)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  17. Ellie

    Ellie New Member

    Yep, had all sorts of dogs who helped me through stressful times in my life. I still have two dogs... one is a border collie mix, and another is a blue nose pit male puppy who is 5 months old. The border collie is 9 years old and her age is showing :( I had the border collie mix since at least high school or so.
  18. janemariesayed

    janemariesayed Junior Member

    A cat would be wonderful to have @to7update but I fear that my dogs would eat them for breakfast! :eek:

    There are ways to deal with dogs who bark too much. A dog's natural instinct is to protect his territory so we want them to bark if someone were to come in during the night, for example, ~ a burglar. I have found that if we first teach our dogs to speak on command, then we can also control stopping them easier.

    Speaking on command is easy, as you clench your fist in front of them and say speak while holding their food dish. As soon as they make any kind of grunt give them their food dish and praise them. The grunt soon becomes a bark. Then, if someone came to you in the street and threatened you, the dogs see the clenched fist and bark automatically. But barking at people walking past is dealt with by also praising them. Are they barking too much? Call them to you, say well done and give them a treat. It is for them an exercise and once you have praised them and given them a treat they stop barking and are happy to have pleased you. Also, go and look at what they are barking at, that's the time to say well done.

    I learned this at the Kennel Club dog training classes and it really works. My neighbours have commented to me that they never hear my dogs, but believe me, they do tell me when someone is walking past the house, they tell me when the postman is there, or any friend, workmen they really don't like, and anyone who happens to park up too close. Always, though, never a problem, to them it is an exercise that they love to do. I sleep assured that they will let me know of any problem, even if it is just to get a treat for completing an exercise correctly.
  19. AngelaMc

    AngelaMc Member

    I believe pets do help with our mental health issues. They not only provide great companionship, but also motivation and comfort, and having one in my opinion relieves stress and anxiety. Having a pet especially a dog, gives that owner a sense of purpose. Just petting your pet whether it is a cat or a dog, gives you a calm effect and helps you relax.:)

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