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A Surprising Link Between Pets and Your Mental Health

Pets can make you laugh and give you comfort, and their ability to measurably lower stress levels is something that animal lovers of every age have learned for themselves.

pets and mental health

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The American Psychiatric Association’s Healthy Minds Poll found the majority of pet owners — 88% — consider their pets part of the family
  • Among the pet owners who responded to the survey, 86% said their pets have a mostly positive impact on their mental health
  • Mental health benefits of pet ownership include reduced stress and anxiety, companionship, unconditional love and a calming presence
  • Compared to dog owners, cat owners were more likely to report that their pet offered companionship, a calming presence and stress relief
  • Dog owners were twice as likely to say their pet helps them stay physically active

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