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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that pets improve our mental health.

Whether you have a cat, dog, rabbit, bird, or even an aquarium of goldfish, they each end up having an impact on our day-to-day life.

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There are several things our pets do for us every day and we might not even realize it. Just playing with our pets should put us in a calm and relaxed state of mind.

According to HelpGuide, pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. With even very limited interaction, pets improve our mental health.

Pets can provide several benefits to people of all ages (especially dogs). The relationship we have with our pets is mutually beneficial and positively impacts the health and well-being of both sides.

“Dogs are very present. If someone is struggling with something, they know how to sit there and be loving,” Dr. Ann Berger of the NIH Clinical Center told News In Health. “Their attention is focused on the person all the time.”

Most households in the United States have at least one pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the percent of households owning a companion animal include 38.4% for dogs and 25.4% for cats.

If you’re looking to add a new member to your family, do your research about the specific needs of animals. However, just know in the back of your mind pets improve our mental health and we’re very lucky to have them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Increased opportunities for socialization

What can you do with your dog to improve your mental health? 

  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood
  • Take your furry friend to the local dog park
  • Teach your dog a new trick
  • Take your dog on a boat ride
  • Play in the sprinkler, leaves, or even the snow
  • Take them with you for a coffee run while your pet enjoys a puppacino
  • Take your dog to swim at the nearest beach or lake