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An unhealthy or sick pet is enough to make us feel anxious. We all love our pets so dearly that when something happens to them, we automatically go into guardian mode. Sometimes, the things we do won’t be able to help them recover and this leads to a feeling of helplessness that worsens our mental health. By now, you probably treat your pets as part of your own family. Similar to when a family member gets sick, all you want to do is spend time with them and make sure they get better quickly.While taking care of a pet can do wonders for your physical and mental health, the close bond you share with your cat or dog can also impact your mental health in a negative way should your pet suddenly fall sick. A recent study shows that caring for sick pet can increase your susceptibility to depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions.Caring for a sick or unhealthy animal can lead to a number of physical and emotional health problems. These problems are collectively called caregiver burden, because that’s where it spurred from.The study
The researchers from Stow Kent Animal Hospital, Kent State University, and the Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital situated in Akron, Ohio did a study involving 238 pet owners. Half of these participants cared for healthy pets while the other half cared for sick and unwell pets.The researchers then used different testing scales and questionnaires to measure the individual’s stress levels, caregiver burden, overall quality of life, and susceptibility to depression or anxiety.After collecting and analyzing all the different results, the researchers found that the participants that cared for a sick pet had increased levels of stress, depression, and caregiver burden as compared to the participants who were caring for healthy pets.When you see your pet as part of your family, taking care of them becomes time consuming and something of a burden. Whereas, when you come home to a healthy and happy pet, it uplifts your mood and alleviates some of the stress that you picked up during the day. When you come home to a sick pet, you have no time to relax and unwind from your stressful day. You have to switch right into caretaker mode and look after your pet. You’re unsure about when and how your pet will get better so that adds to your burden, making it even more difficult to bare.What you need to remember when caring for a sick pet
The sickness is usually temporary and will be resolved. Take your pet to the vet and follow all of his instructions carefully. No matter the sickness, be patient, the healing period takes time.