Owning A Pet Whilst Having A Disability 

guide dog

Having a pet can be one of the most rewarding and loving parts of life, and having a disability doesn’t stop that. There are many other benefits to having a pet whilst having a disability. Our pets can have an advantage on our mental and physical health, making everyday life that little bit better. But, what can our pets actually do to help those with a disability? Let’s find out!

Mental Health

Over 40% of those with a disability have depression, so finding ways to improve their mental health is always a positive step in the right direction. A pet can bring great companionship and allow the powder to create a personal bond. They will have a great responsibility to care for their pets, allowing them something to focus on. 

Relaxation Of Fish

When we think of pets to support our mental health or disability, we often think of dogs, but fish can also have an impact on how you are feeling. Looking at fish in a tank can relieve anxiety and can also slow down heart rate if you watch a fish tank for around 30 minutes a day. This choice is great if you aren’t able to care for larger animals such as cats and dogs. 

Guide Dogs

A guide dog can completely transform a blind person’s life, from giving them the confidence to leave the house to completing simple tasks around their home. Guide dogs can also relieve depression and improve cardiovascular health too. Having a pet that needs regular exercise, this will invite the owner to walk more often outdoors, providing additional health benefits. An individual’s independence can also increase, as they won’t feel as though they need to rely on another human being to get around, but can put trust on their new furry companion. 

Wheelchair Users

Being in a wheelchair shouldn’t stop you from the enjoyment of owning a dog, but there are some things you may have to think about. Adapting the way you walk, play and care for your dog will need to be considered, but it is possible! If you are able to hold a dog lead, then your pet will be able to walk comfortably beside you outdoors. If your pet loves to play outdoors, such as fetch a ball, there are tools such as a tennis ball launcher. Your pet will still be able to run free, plus you can easily pick the ball up when they return the ball (that’s if they do return it).

If you have a small dog who doesn’t require much walking, they may be able to sit on your lap whilst you get some fresh air outdoors. 

Don’t Have A Pet?

If you aren’t able to have a pet due to living situations, cost or any other reason, there are ways you can enjoy the company of pets to improve your mental health. One option is to visit friends and family who have a pet. You could ask to take them for a walk, or simply play with them in the comfort of their own home. 

Alternatively, you could look into fostering pets if you don’t want the full commitment of keeping a pet for a long period of time. There are a plethora of cats and dogs that need foster homes, and you could be the one to give that support to them.