Unexpected Mental Health Benefits of Having a Pet Fish

December 27, 2023by Nicole Tengco0

We’ve all heard of animals being therapeutic — they serve as our emotional support and natural stress relievers. However, when you think of therapeutic pets, your mind probably jumps to fluffy dogs, cute kittens, or even the occasional hamster or bunny. Well, they’re not the only ones that can boost your mental well-being. Did you know that there are mental health benefits associated with having pet fish, too?

Although fish aren’t exactly the cuddliest or most expressive pets out there, they still have a lot of therapeutic benefits! These colorful animals have much to offer beyond being pretty little swimmers. So, without further ado, we at PetPal will help you dive into the mental health benefits of having a pet fish! 

mental health benefits of having pet fish

Photo by Brian Wangenheim

1. Fish Can Relieve Your Stress and Anxiety

Life is stressful, and we know it all too well. Work, school, relationships – the list goes on. But fish can help lift your spirits! Ask any fish owner — watching fish glide smoothly around their tank, their vibrant colors flashing as they dart along the aquarium plants and decorations can be incredibly calming. 

The gentle, rhythmic movements of fish in water can help reduce tension, acting as a natural stress reliever. Research backs up this claim, too, stating that observing live fish can help improve mood and relaxation while easing anxiety. Isn’t that neat? They’re like little thera-fish!

2. Having Pet Fish Can Help Improve Your Sleep Quality

Another important mental health benefit of having a pet fish is that it can potentially help improve your sleep quality.

In case you’re prone to insomnia or have trouble getting some shut-eye, a fish tank could be a great addition to your bedroom. The soft lighting and gentle bubbling sound of the aquarium can create a calming environment conducive to sleep. Imagine it as your white noise machine. The soft hum of the aquarium, combined with the mesmerizing view of beautiful fish, helps soothe you into a peaceful sleep.

3. Pet Fish Can Help You Practice Mindfulness

We live in a world that’s increasingly fast-paced and filled with undue stress, which can lead to negative thoughts and a lot of anxiety. This constant rush often makes us overlook the need to fully slow down, breathe deeply, and embrace the present moment. 

Watching fish swim in their tank forces us to pause, focus, and connect with nature, promoting a sense of mindfulness. It’s a beautiful, simple form of meditation that can help you unwind after a long day. Now, that’s one of the most unexpected mental health benefits of having a pet fish!

4. Fish Generally Require Less Maintenance Than Other Pets

Unlike most pets, fish require relatively little upkeep. You don’t have to worry about walks, grooming, or litter boxes — you’ll have to handle feeding and regular tank cleaning. This makes them ideal for those who want an animal friend but may not have the time or energy for more high-maintenance animals. Plus, fish never get tired of listening to your problems!

5. Having Pet Fish Provides a Learning Experience 

Keeping fish can be a fascinating educational experience — for kids and adults alike. There’s much to learn about different kinds of fish, their habitats, dietary habits, and more. Plus, maintaining a balanced aquatic environment in the tank can reinforce responsibility and the importance of regular care and attention.

The Takeaway

So, there you have it – the unexpected and often overlooked mental health benefits of having a pet fish. They might not be your traditional cuddly pet, but fish offer a unique blend of beauty, peace, and low-maintenance companionship that can help improve your mental well-being. 

If you wish to find out if you’re giving the best care for your pet, why not talk to a professional? Here at PetPal, you can download the PetPal App on iOS App Store or Android Play Store and talk to a vet online to ask them for professional guidance. Chat with a vet now!

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