Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

Pets for Mental Health and Well-Being

January 12, 2018 12:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As easy as it is to isolate ourselves and feel walled off from the world, we are social creatures. A pet is a rewarding and low-pressure way to nip that tendency in the rear. They not only breed a sense of community with other pet owners and animal lovers, they are a form of socialization in and of themselves and the benefits are tenfold.

Studies have found that:

  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.”


The conclusions are universal.

And the list. goes. on.

If you’re looking to better your quality of life this year, consider adding a pet to the family.

 Photo: Flickr/Nehavish