How Can a Pet Help with Self-esteem and Body Image?

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

We live in a society and culture that is often harsh and judgmental. While there are many positive aspects of our society, for a person struggling with self-esteem and poor body image, daily life in itself can be a struggle.

There are many practical ways in which a person can help build and support a healthy positive body image. Some methods and approaches may be more helpful to some people than others, so it is important to discover what works best for you and what tactics are most encouraging to you in your own journey.

Finding a Connection Through a Pet

For some people, connecting with a pet can be a beneficial and therapeutic way of building up self-esteem and creating a positive body image. This can be especially true for individuals who have experienced a difficult time connecting with other people or who have perhaps had repeated let-downs or disappointments in relationships.

Have a pet, such as a dog or cat, can be a way to find connection with another creature. The responsibilities that come with caring for a pet can also be empowering, as it can enable an individual to feel confident in their abilities.

A Beneficial Part of Your Life

If you have been struggling with poor body image and self-esteem, you may consider if having a pet is something that may be appropriate for you.

cat-468232_640If you have had an interest in having a pet, have previously cared for a pet, have the necessary resources for housing an animal and can financially support a pet, you may consider if this is something that may help you in your own life.

How Pets Can Offer Tremendous Support

While it may seem strange to have a connection or relationship with an animal, the reality is that pets can offer tremendous support, especially during difficult times, depression, sadness, etc. A pet may also connect you to other like-minded individuals or encourage you to take care of yourself, both which can be helpful parts of building a positive self esteem.

If you are interested in having a pet, be sure that you fully understand the responsibilities involved before making a commitment to an animal and prepare your heart for a benefiting and joyful relationship!

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

How has a pet helped you build up your self esteem and create a positive body image?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 19th, 2015
Published on