The Pet Effect on Mental and Physical Health

24th July 2020

Today is Samaritans Awareness Day, and this great organisation has shown itself as a major leader in moving the nation’s mental health to the forefront of our collective thinking.  Here at greensplash, the mental wellness of the team has long been a major consideration.  With all members of our group working remotely, we have maintained regular contact via video links and phone calls from not just the human team members, but also those of the canine and feline variety.  We want to take this opportunity to look at the benefits pets can bring to our mental and physical wellbeing.  As a team of animal lovers, we know only too well just how important the scruffling of fluffy ears and scratching under the chin can be to a person’s happiness.

Lockdown has meant that the opportunity to receive a fabulously fluffy head boink from Sidney and Boo has lately been non-existent, and it’s not just the team that is missing this splendid form of sensory overload.  Our clients and suppliers are missing our canine representatives too.  So, how can this sorry ‘tail’ be rectified?  By socially distanced Sidney visits of course!  Hooray! 

This week has been a busy one for Siddles; on Tuesday he put on his best LinkedIn outfit and popped over to see Sarah (or Sawah as Sidney calls her).  There was squealing, running around the garden, leaping over benches, and lots of kisses (and that was just Sarah).  Then on Wednesday, he went to visit his favourite lady, Elaine, who works as part of our accounts team.  Again, there was more squealing, cuddles, kisses, and sausages!  We had no idea Elaine was so partial to a Webbs Butchers Sausage.

On a more serious note, whilst there is a fun element to owning and loving these hairy companions, there are also significant health benefits.  It has been scientifically proven that owning a pet reduces blood pressure, and at times of stress petting an animal has a calming influence. What effect all that tapping on the head has on Sidney and Boo’s mental abilities is a mystery to us all. According to a report from the Harvard Medical School, this is known as the ‘pet effect’.  Dog owners are also linked to having lower cholesterol and triglyceride (a type of fat found in the blood).  It is believed that this is due to the regular exercise that dog-owners receive from walking their canine friends.

Not only this, but did you also know that pets can help their humans overcome anxiety?  When you hit that mental block and anxiety kicks in, rest assured a quick scratch of fuzzy heads will help you de-stress and refocus. It’s not just dogs that can help, cats can also be a great benefit to people who are feeling anxious.  76% of cat owners feel that they can cope better with everyday life since giving their beloved kitty a home. greensplash has its own cat collector, and she agrees! 

When the team is in the office, having a lively Sidney and Boo close by is a positive way to encourage everyone to pop out for a break and be walked by them, I mean take them for a walk, and therefore improving the individual and collective cardiovascular health of the greensplash team. Don’t forget, after all, we specialise in medical communications as well as web design.

All in all, pets are a genuinely wonderful addition to our lives, whether at work or at home.  But remember, they are a huge responsibility, relying on you for their entire life. You have a pet for a part of your life, but they have you for the whole of theirs. How lucky are they! Make it memorable.

If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing, please know that it is OK not to be OK. Twenty Five percent of the population struggles at some point so please know you are not alone.  Speaking to someone can be a great help too.  The Samaritans has several ways to contact them so if a telephone call feels too much, you can email them, or use their self-help app.  You can find out more here:  https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

GS and Reviber are feeling the vibe!

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