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7 Benefits to Having A Pet When You Live With Mental Illness

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

Written by Jill Martin 


If you have been blessed to have a pet in your life, you will understand how wonderful they can be. All their quirks, personality and the stories you could tell about them for hours. No doubt about it, pets are some kind of wonderful.  When you have a mental illness, they can become even more important to you. So in honour of our furry best friends, here are 7 benefits to having a pet when you have mental illness!


They get you out of bed in the morning.

Mostly because they are hungry or have to pee, but hey, it works.


They sometimes force you to get that fresh air, even when you don’t want to.

Not so much for cats, or other small furry friends but definitely for dogs, you have to walk them. Walking may not always be the most fun of activities, but since you know it makes them happy, you do it anyway. It generally ends up benefitting you both whether you know it or not.


They provide a sense of protection

Even though the most damage they could ever do it probably lick someone to death, it’s comforting to know that they will always warn you about the sketchy plastic bags blowing by.


They understand when you have a down day.

They don’t ask a million questions. They don’t ask you to pretend to have good day when you’re not. They are happy to lay beside you (or on you) when you just need a friend.


They just want to make you happy when you’re sad.

Whether it be bringing you their favourite toy when you’re sad or licking away the tears, they try their best just to make you smile again.


Their personalities provide endless entertainment.

Every animal is different but they all have their own personality. Whether they like running around in circles, playing with strange toys (my dog loves fabric, like wash cloths….), sassing you at any given moment or the accidental things that make you laugh. There is no denying they will get you to smile or laugh just when you need it. 


They give you purpose

They love you without conditions. They are always happy to see you when you get home. They are sad when you leave. They make you feel wanted and endlessly appreciated on the days when you don’t feel like you don’t want to exist to the outside world.


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