The health and mood - boosting benefits of pets

The bond between humans and animals is powerful, and there's an undeniable correlation between pets and mental health.

The companionship of a pet can help ease anxiety boosting self confidence providing unconditional love and relieving feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Every pet owner knows instinctively that pets make them feel good, with some health benefits including lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and risk of heart-disease and scientist are now finding evidence that animals can also help improve mental health even for people with challenging disorders. Studies may be small but the results are impressive enough that clinical settings are opening their doors to animal assisted interventions (pet therapy)

Some other benefits include:


Pets can give you a sense of security as well as being someone to share the day with. Caring for them can help you feel wanted and needed. Companion pets show functions that humans need to share with their animals for emotional support.

Mood booster

Just looking at your pet might make you happier. Studies show that eye contact with your dog can release a hormone that makes you feel happy. The hormone is called Oxytocin, often known as the love hormone, providing an immediate mood booster.


Having a pet means you have to take care of their needs. Having a schedule of when to feed them, groom them, and exercise a pet is a good way to provide stability for yourself and your fury friend, which in the long run can help with anxiety and depression.

Stress Reduction

There is a scientific explanation for how pets help with anxiety just by petting them and that's because being around pets can lower the stress hormone cortisol, which helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Pets, as mentioned previously, can be beneficial to those with challenge including adults with Alzheimer disease or dementia and children with learning disorders and other challenges. Research at the University of California at Davis concluded that Alzheimer's patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog or cat in the home which helps with their inability to deal with stress.

Equally, some children with autism or other learning difficulties are better able to interact with pets than people. Autistic children often rely on nonverbal cues to communicate, just as animals do. And learning to first communicate and connect with a pet may even help an autistic child in their interactions with people.


There's no doubt having pets in our lives can be a booster to our moods and our well being - at all stages of life. Speaking to most pet owners, it's obvious the benefits of sharing their lives with a special cat, dog or other companion animal. Because our companion animals are so precious, it’s also important that we do our best to meet their physical and mental needs to ensure the benefits go both ways.

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