Aug 23

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How Pets Help With Anxiety and Depression



How Pets Help With Anxiety and Depression

Pets are good for so many reasons but the main reason we all love them is because they provide a constant smile for us. They’re always there and still love us and accept us no matter what life may bring. There is nothing and no one that is that consistently happy to see or us be around us and it’s a wonderful feeling. For those of us who suffer with anxiety, pets help us in so many ways.

  1. Studies show that pets reduce blood pressure. In one study, people suffering from anxiety and high blood pressure were taken to a shelter to adopt a dog. Within 5 months, their health had noticeably improved.

  2. Playing with a pet actually increases the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. This can cause a grumpy person to be happy or a stressed person to be calmer since higher serotonin and dopamine levels result in a calmer and more relaxed attitude.

  3. Loneliness can cause depression. A pet reduces the amount of loneliness a person might experience if they live alone. For example, a study conducted on people over the age of 65 showed that those with pets visited the hospital 30% less than those without pets.

  4. Adding exercise to a routine has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. Pets, namely dogs, are great for encouraging exercise by taking them for walks. In the winter, even a relaxing drive with the dog hanging out the window has been shown to reduce stress levels.

  5. Pets are also great for keeping people on their toes. With anxiety come bouts of depression that can cause us to not want to do anything. Pets force us to keep a schedule or to do some sort of activity in the day. They’re also great for making us interact with and meet new people!


Don’t be afraid to add a pet to your family. They’re not only great for those who suffer with anxiety and depression but also great for giving anyone an extra boost of smiles day in and day out.

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  1. 1
    Dotty J Boucher

    I love having my pet near me when my anxiety kicks in, but sometimes even have my pet isn’t enough,

    1. 1.1

      Thanks for sharing that Dotty…pets help me with depression but if I get a panic attack….nothing helps til it goes away. And it will take a full day cause I get a headache almost like a post ictal headache. I hate panic attacks.

  2. 2
    donna FIELDS

    Thank you for sharing, i also believe pets help with depression, i bought a dog for my grandchildren and myself when my husband died and a cat so we all could have something to love and turn our attention to. It truly is a good thing to have. My father has a small dog he treats like his child ever since my brother was in a car accident and it keeps him going. but, now with anxiety i have to take medication for that one. I wouldn;t be able to take care of anything if i didn’t because an attack of anxiety is awful and has to run its course.

    1. 2.1

      donna, my condolences for your loss no matter when that was. And I do understand about anxiety/panic attacks. When I get them they are awful and as you say they have to run their course! I take meds for my anxiety and if I don’t I can’t function well due to night panics that wake me from a sound sleep.

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