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Mental health is an extremely important aspect of everyone’s lives, and it can sometimes be difficult to maintain when facing hurdles like anxiety and stress alone. While seeking support from friends, family, or a healthcare professional is absolutely recommended when feeling mentally overwhelmed, owning and developing a bond with pets can help to improve mental health in numerous ways.

Comfort
Pets have often been found to have a general calming effect on their owners. Having the opportunity to simply sit next to a pet and stroke them gives owners a sense of comfortability, allowing them a chance to forget about outside stresses and focus on remaining calm with their furry friends while at home. On top of this, being the sole carer for a pet gives off a sense of achievement, helping to make owners feel more valuable and needed.

Companionship
Not only do pets help with reducing stress, but they also make excellent companions! For those who are living alone or are in the later stages of life, a cat or dog can provide their owners with a loyal company, a feeling of security, and someone to share a routine with. Pets are also great listeners, giving owners someone to talk to when feeling overwhelmed and providing unconditional love without any judgement.

Motivation
When anxiety and depression bogs someone down, it can be difficult to feel motivated to be physically active, socialize with friends, or meet new people. When you own a dog, their need for daily walks gets owners out of the house and provides the opportunity to meet other dog owners. This can help someone to be more socially connected and develop new friendships, which is often linked to being healthier mentally.

While pets are absolutely dependent on their owners to take care of them, they return the favour by taking care of their owners when it comes to maintaining mental health. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or are simply feeling lonely in your day-to-day life, consider finding comfort and companionship in a furry friend.

Ensure your cat or dog is covered in case of an unexpected injury or illness with Pet Insurance from Hudson’s Bay Financial Services and Petline Insurance – Canada’s largest pet insurance company. Pet owners can be reimbursed for up to 80% of veterinary costs, including X-rays, hospitalization, surgery, dental care and prescriptions. Additionally, owners can also earn up to 4,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points.1

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1) Earn 2,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points when you purchase a Basic Care plan, 3,000 Rewards points for an Enhanced Care plan and 4,000 Rewards points for an Enhanced Care Plus plan. Rewards points will be issued in equal increments after every six months when you use a valid Canadian-issued credit card to pay for your premiums and will not be pro-rated. Offer valid in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.