Pets Are Good for Our Mental Health

Research has revealed that pet ownership has its benefits for people suffering from severe mental illness, according to an article on the matter at
Pets provide us with comfort. Furthermore, people suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claim that their pets offer them a deep sense of security.
Additionally, another study reinforced the findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirming that having a pet reduces anxiety and contributes to a lower body mass index (BMI).
The findings of further studies similarly indicated that companion animals such as cats, dogs, hamsters, finches and goldfish benefitted patients struggling with mental illness.
How do pets especially help folks with mental illness?
1. Pets help manage emotions and provide a welcome distraction from mental health problems.
2. Pets offer unconditional love and help moderate feelings of anxiety, sadness and solitude.
3. Pets, especially dogs, persuade their owners to stay connected to the outside world and perform physical activities; dogs promote social interactions and strengthen community bonds.
4. Having a pet helps people suffering from mental illness maintain a strong sense of identity and self-worth. In one study, a suicidal patient claimed that his love and responsibility for his pet rabbit kept him from ending his life.
5. The act of loving and caring for animals gives meaning to life.
Many mental health counselors and therapists have begun to incorporate pets in their clients’ with pets treatment plans.
And pooches have proven their value as therapy pets for people suffering from mental illness. For more information consult with a Clifton Park area veterinarian or ask your local Albany/Saratoga Off Leash K9 Training professionals. OLK9 Training offers a Therapy Dog Training Program. To learn more visit or call 518-788-9487.
Skip to content