The Power of Pets



Pets can help us in many different ways, both in our mental health and in our physical health.

Grace Peters, Writer

Pets, such as cats and dogs, bring a lot of people joy in many different ways. But having a pet can do many more amazing things for people’s moods and mental health.

Although not true for everyone, people with pets are less likely to suffer from depression. Spending time with a pet is proven to elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which boosts calmness and happiness. Even just looking at a fish in a fish tank can help with muscle tension and lower stress levels.

A study from 30 years ago found that petting an animal lowered blood pressure, people’s breathing became more regular, and people’s muscles even relaxed. This shows reduced levels of stress which the researchers concluded means that pets help people’s mental health.

Many nursing homes and hospitals have emotional support animals that visit residents to help boost their moods. Many teen mental health programs have begun using Equine Assisted Therapy, where horses help teens with their mental health issues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study which found that having a dog helps prevent childhood anxiety. Along with that, they help us feel needed and boost our sense of self worth.

Pet’s supply their owners with love and affection. They may even make a person more social than they would be without a pet.

But having a pet doesn’t only help you mentally, it can help you physically too. Having a pet reduces your chances of developing heart problems. They can lower stress, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, plus if you have a dog you can exercise by walking them or playing with them.

On average, people with pets take less sick days, have less heart problems, and lower levels of stress. Although taking care of a pet is sometimes hard work, it can be extremely beneficial for your health.

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