How Pets Can Help With Mental Health
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How Pets Can Help With Mental Health

Zoe Kramer March 11, 2023

It’s no secret that pets can help their owners become more mentally healthy. It’s even been proven scientifically: the presence of animals has been shown to increase levels of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. But how exactly does having a pet lead to these effects? It turns out that there are many different ways that pets can provide these mental benefits. Here is how pets can help with mental health.

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

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Getting Exercise

For dog owners in particular, having a pet can mean getting more exercise than you would normally. Dogs need to be walked regularly, which is an opportunity for both them and their owners to get out of the house, get some steps in, and enjoy the fresh air. Doing this on a daily basis can provide excellent mental benefits.

Meeting New People

Pets can also provide an opportunity to meet others. Whether it’s out for a walk, at a pet store, a pet play group, or other activities, a shared love of pets can be a great way to bring people together. It’s an easy way to start a conversation, and can lead to getting to know your neighbors better and making new friends. So not only do pets provide companionship, but they can also be a gateway for human companionship as well.

A Break From Stress

There’s no better way to destress than taking a few minutes to pet or play with an animal. It’s a great way to get away from the business of daily life and take a moment to appreciate the simple joys of life. The love and affection our pets show to us can help us feel calmer and more at ease.

A Regular Routine

Pets also give us a regular routine. Daily walks and a feeding schedule provide structure to our lives that can be absent otherwise, in some cases. Having a routine can help give purpose and comfort to a person’s life.


Pets can provide many mental health benefits to their owners. While owning pets can be impossible for some due to allergies and a myriad of other reasons, there are other ways to experience the joys that animals bring as well. You can attend a therapy dog event at your university, volunteer at an animal shelter, or just spend some time with a pet that belongs to friends or family.

See also: Alternative Ways For Students To Destress

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.