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Improve Your Mental Health by Rescuing an Animal

Improve Your Mental Health by Rescuing an Animal

Looking for a win-win? It’s no secret that most pet owners experience continuous joy when it comes to their animal companions. Aside from this undeniable joy, many of us are unaware of the actual physical and health benefits that come with these balls of fur. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise which in turn can even improve your cardiovascular health. The extent of these benefits obviously vary with each type of animal but even something as simple as a fish can help relax muscles and reduce stress.

These claims are not opinions either. Studies have shown the following to be factual:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets 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, cat, or other pet 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 pets survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.


The facts don’t lie so if you’re in the market for a therapy dog or cat, consider these local organizations. In response to Pennsylvania shelters being full these Philadelphia shelters have been stepping up to help with the overflow. Check them out!

ACCT Philly | Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)