Through thick and thin, your pet is there for you. There’s nothing like going home to your pet after a rough day and seeing them jump up in excitement.

Though taking care of a pet requires a lot of responsibility and can occasionally be stressful, it’s important to remind yourself that in many ways, your pet is actually taking care of you. Here are some mental health benefits of having a pet. 

Stress Relief 

Whether it’s something related to work, family, or friends, stress is very widespread. And now, with the pandemic, stress is even more common.   According to a study, interacting with a pet can lead to your brain increasing production of both serotonin and dopamine — two chemicals that help your mind mitigate feelings of stress and anxiety. Being around your pet can make you feel calmer and less anxious about the future. Even if it’s for a few moments a day, you can feel a lot better. 

Help You Get A More Positive Outlook

According to a study, pet owners have better mental health and generally are more positive about their life. The power of positivity can take you pretty far! Things happen on a daily basis that might not go your way. But when you’re positive, you can go through these events with your head up. If you’re going through a tough time, you can take an online mental health assessment to see how a licensed professional can help you. 

Pets Can Improve Your Physical Health

There is a proven connection between mental and physical health. When you’re improving your physical health, you’re also putting your mind at ease. Research shows that having a pet companion is related to lower blood pressure and decreased levels of cholesterol and triglyceride. All of this can lower your risk of heart attacks. In addition to easing your blood pressure, having a pet can give you a myriad of opportunities to exercise — something that can boost your mood. Here are a few physical activities you can do with your pet:  

  • Walk Around The Block: Going on daily walks can lower your stress levels. Dogs need to be walked on a regular basis. In addition, dogs tend to be adventurous and can get you to explore new parts of town. You can go to your local park,  hiking trails, or the beach together. 
  • Jogging: Though it’s not for all dogs, your furry four-legged companions can accompany you on your jog. 
  • Cleaning: Pets are known to occasionally make a mess. While this can be frustrating, it’s also a chance for you to get some exercise as you clean.
  • Pets Can Give Your Life Some Structure 

Let’s say you just ended a relationship, moved to a new place, or quit a job you’ve had for years. Chances are that you’re suddenly going to experience something of a shock. All those old routines you once had and could rely on are now gone. Having a structure can improve your sleep and lower your stress levels. These are a few ways your pet can help you establish a daily routine:

  • Get Up Early: While some dogs get fed twice a day, others get fed early in the morning. When you’re in a period of transition, getting up early can help you establish some focus and get a head start to your day. After you feed your pet, you can start applying to jobs, exercise, or cook. 
  • Clean: As mentioned before, pets can be a little messy. In addition to helping you get some exercise, cleaning up your dog’s mess can also push you to clean all those parts of your house or apartment you’ve been ignoring for too long. You will start cleaning your own space more regularly and may see improvements to your mental health
  • Get Out Of The House: Especially in the age of working from home, many people can find it hard to get out of their house. But staying home  all the time can have a negative impact on your mental health.  When you have a pet, you need to get them food or take them to the vet or on regular walks. All of these are great opportunities to get outside and step out of your shell.

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Pets Can Teach You About Empathy

A pet can help improve your relationships. When you care for a pet, you learn a lot about empathy and patience. These are skills that apply to your friendships and romantic relationships. You have to be there for your pet regardless of circumstance. Though this may test your patience, you’re gaining valuable knowledge on how to ensure something else thrives. Sometimes, mental health issues can make us focus our attention on ourselves too much. With a pet, you have an external outlet.

Chances To Socialize 

Isolation can be detrimental to your mental health. With a pet, you can find ways to meet new people. Here are a few ways your pet can get you to socialize:

  • Dog Parks: At dog parks, you can make new friends as your respective pets run around and play.
  • Walking: When you’re out on a walk with your dog, you may get approached by other dog owners. You can exchange tips on training and feeding. Through bonding about your dogs, you can form lasting connections.
  • Social Media: Though social media interactions can’t take the place of talking and meeting up with people in person, it can be a tool for you to meet like minded people with similar interests. When you post a photo of your dog, you can potentially connect with other dog owners in your city who may reach out wanting to meet up!
  • Conversation Topic: Whether it’s at an office party or a family gathering, having a pet can give you an easy conversation topic that’s politically neutral and not polarizing.


If you want to improve your mental health and become a dog owner, you should look into adopting a dog with Dharamsala Animal Rescue. Desi Dogs are fantastic, adorable pets. Start your journey with us today. 

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About the author

The DARling is blog in support of Dharamsala Animal Rescue  – Our mission is to end the human/street dog conflict by creating a humane and sustainable environment for animals with direct benefits to the people of Dharamsala, India.