How Pets Affect Mental Health

Raajan Mann, Youth Volunteer

I believe that owning pets can help improve mental health. Ontariospca.ca found “97 per cent of pet owners surveyed saw an improvement in their patients’ mental health. Another 98 per cent reported improved mood or outlook.”

Interacting and petting pets can reduce stress hormones. Playing with a dog or cat raises our levels of serotonin and dopamine. These are hormones that calm and relax the nervous system. When we smile and laugh at our pets’ cute behaviour, that helps stimulate the release of these happiness hormones.

In addition, pets can increase self-esteem and well-being. Recently, psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University conducted studies on the benefits of pet ownership. Subsequently, the American Psychological Association published the results. The results show better self-esteem, better physical health, less loneliness, and less fear. In conclusion, having a pet can affect many people’s lives in a positive way.

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