If you had known the Eunice from three years back, you would never have spotted any fur on my clothing. But today, I’m proud to confess that my home and all that I own – has a part of Scooby’s DNA in it (dog hair). Yes – I’m the proud owner of a 3-year-old, Jack Russell Mongrel mix that goes by the name Scooby and I love every bit of joy (and messy fur situations) he has brought into my life!

At Lime, I’m just a subset of the team of pet lovers. With almost half of the agency owning a beloved fur friend(s), it’s safe to say we know a thing or two of the benefits it brings, especially in the area of our emotions and overall wellbeing.

Beyond the immediate benefits of cuddles and companionship, pets have been proven to help relieve depression, anxiety and cope with loneliness. From the perspective of a dog owner, here’s 3 benefits of how having a pet can UP your mental health!

Mental Wellness Living with a pet - Chester

Featuring Chester – proud owner of Rigmor…

Mental wellness living with a pet - Scooby

Scooby, professional cuddler of Eunice…

Living with a pet Mental Wellness - Oreo

… and Oreo, ruling over Cecile’s life.

1. Lower your stress levels

Did you know that just the sensory act of stroking an animal alleviates blood pressure? Studies have shown that people who are suffering from anxiety experienced a dip in stress-related hormones by simply spending five minutes out interacting with a pet. Such moments of ‘Play’ induces a spike of serotonin, dopamine and even releases oxytocin – which are all hormones and chemical responsible in relaxing our nervous system (all that science talk ay).

With more companies seeing the benefits of pet companionship, it’s now a common trend to have an office pet or ‘Bring your pet to work day’. For the Limoncellos, we’re no stranger to such positive initiatives with Chester and Oreo’s frequent drop-ins!

You can read up about the perks an office pet brings from Business Insider.

2. Enjoying “the moment”

Being in the moment revolves around Mindfulness. It’s the state of bringing one’s attention to the present and not worrying about the past nor future. Pets are great ambassadors of mindfulness and can do major good to the over-thinkers and worriers out there! Here’s an interesting fact – animals have a significantly smaller neocortex that limits their memory. According to researcher and author, Dr Joe Dispenza, this only triggers a stress response in them when faced with a threat. What about most days? Well, they’re constantly in a state of ‘calm’ known as homeostasis.

Although we’re wired differently, the time spent with pets helps us appreciate the present and live in the ‘now’. For me, it’s a pleasant sight to be welcomed home by Scooby after a long day. The sight of a waggy tail that greets me at the door is more than sufficient to cheer me up!

3. A healthier lifestyle

While you take care of your fur friend, you’re unknowingly taking care of yourself. How so? By building a set of healthy habits and routines around them! Of course, we’re no slave to our pets (hmm, or are we?) but here’s a few good habits that comes with having a pet:

  • Self-care – As you look after your pet, you’re reminded to take proper care of yourself and the importance of our health. Simple example – I had to be careful about the food I fed Scooby when he fell ill and this made me notice the amount of junk food I was consuming so yes to self-care!
  • Workout – Be it a walk in the park or play-time, we are all responsible for bringing our pets out for their walks. While they exercise those legs, we too are benefiting from the time spent outside and are more likely to meet the recommended daily exercise requirements! I love going on long walks and the occasion sprint when Scooby spots a feline along the streets…. and for you all cat lovers, think of all the chasing around you are doing when playing hide and seek with your fur balls!

With all that being said, there’re of course plenty more benefits beyond what I’ve listed here. In the meantime, we hope we convinced you – and because you know us, you’ll know that of course if you are considering getting a pet for yourself, we will leave you with one crucial advice “adopt, rescue and don’t buy pets!”

Pets are living beings, not commodities – they have a lot of love to give, and buying pets encourages cruel behaviours against animals – whereas so many of them are already looking for loving homes… for free….

And if you are still hesitating, here is the full collection of Lime’s pets!