Are Pets Good for Your Mental Health?

There’s really no denying that pets are good for our mental health. The feeling we get just by observing a photo of our favorite type of animal is enough evidence for most of us to understand that animals have an effect on us.  

It doesn’t matter if it’s a fluffy Pomeranian or a scaly little lizard, being in the presence of our pets can almost always lift our spirits, make us feel welcome, accepted, and never alone.  

So it’s no surprise that science also confirms that pets are good for your mental health.  

Many of us animal lovers consider our furry friends to be part of the family. Sometimes we treat them like children or even siblings.  

And when we’re busy adulting, sometimes we seriously need to slow down. Our pets are good at providing mindful moments when we need them most.  

Because they need to be cared for, groomed, fed, and even walked, we’re forced to take time out of our busy lives to do these things for our furbabies. And it gives us time to reflect, exercise, and feel important to someone…our beloved critters.  

In fact, pets have been a part of our lives for centuries. They provide a way to reduce stress, anxiety, and loneliness.  

Pets are a source of comfort and peace.  

Yes, all of those things…but in this blog, we'll also highlight several reasons why pets are good for your mental health. 

lady on couch with rabbit

Pets Decrease Stress 

Pets are wonderful companions, but it’s their ability to reduce stress and anxiety is their greatest contribution to mental health.  

While many people report feeling less stress when they have pets, research studies have confirmed that pets do, in fact, reduce stress and anxiety. 

According to the American Heart Association, “Pets can reduce work-related stress. Two out of three employees say work stresses them out and 40% say their job gets in the way of their health. Studies show that pets in the workplace help reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.” 

lady snuggling guinea pig

When We’re Lonely, Our Pets are There 

Pets can give us a sense of purpose and provide companionship when we’re on our own. 

College students and the elderly can both benefit from the presence of a pet…sometimes we just need the company of another being.  

In fact, adults have increasingly been doting over pets, and their love for furry little critters has been paying off in the form of physical and mental health benefits.  

According to WebMd, pets can lower blood pressure and stress levels.  

They can also help elderly people who have chronic illnesses like arthritis…just by petting a pet! 

rabbit on a leash

Pets Promote Exercise and Healthy Hearts 

Not only do our fur babies make our hearts swell with joy, but they can also keep our hearts healthy.  

Having a pet can increase exercise in humans, which is great for your health, according to The American Heart Association, “Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression; ease loneliness; encourage exercise and improve your overall health. For example, people with dogs tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop heart disease. Just playing with a dog has been shown to raise levels of the feel-good brain chemicals oxytocin and dopamine, creating positive feelings and bonding for both the person and their pet.” 

And not only is exercise good for our hearts, but also for our minds. It can decrease stress and anxiety. So the next time you’re in worrywart city, take your cottontail out on a walk…or your guinea pig!  

lady with white rabbit

Pets Can Ease Anxiety 

Pets are loyal, loving, and fun, but did you know that they can help you with your anxiety, too?  

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.” 

But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news!  

There are many ways to help with anxiety, happily, and pets are one of them.  

Take rabbits, for example. A docile rabbit gently twitching its nose can be a calming sight to see. Petting a floofy bun is even better.  

In other words, a rabbit can help us employ some of our senses and bring ourselves back to the present moment, rather than worrying about the future.  

As you can see, pets can help you cope with mental health issues and help you get a healthy lifestyle. 

Here at Andy, we talk a lot about how pets can improve our lives. Heck, we built a business around it.  

And it’s no surprise that pets can improve our mental health because, in truth, they provide us with a source of unconditional love. 

Ready to return the favor? We’ve got the best bedding wood bedding pellets for your fur baby. Give your pets the coziest bedding they can handle…cuz where would we be without them! 

Amanda is an accomplished freelance agricultural writer who owns and operates a small farm in Wisconsin with her husband and spunky border collie. Amanda is laser-focused on raising healthy rabbits, goats, and pasture-raised poultry.