Pets help mental health

Macy Waid, Page Editor

This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative. Waid believe her dog, Charlie, has improved her overall mental health. (Maya Waid)

As someone who has struggled with their mental health, having a support system can be helpful and necessary at times. Personally, my two dogs, Charlie and Kobe, have been very helpful . They are faithful and are there to comfort me when I need it. It’s not just dogs that are helpful though. There are all varieties of pets that are helpful. We see examples of this in service animals which can be a variety of different animals. 

Pets provide companionship. Having a pet with you throughout the day can make you feel less lonely and  have someone to share the day with. Because dogs need walks, it forces you to get exercise in the form of taking your dog on a walk. Exercise is an important part of a healthy mental mindset. A study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health revealed that 15 minutes of exercise can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%.

Another important thing a pet can provide is a routine. Pets require regular walks, food, water and playing. Anyone with a pet is provided with a structure for their day to take care of their pet. This can be very helpful because it can be hard to take care of yourself and taking care of someone else can make it easier.

Interacting and playing with pets can raise serotonin levels. This counteracts depression. Depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in the body. Owning a dog could lower your risk of a heart attack later in life. Studies found that owning a dog can lower blood pressure.

Overall, pets are an extremely helpful and reliable source of comfort and reassurance for anyone struggling with mental health issues.