Life can be hard sometimes, we all know this. We can try to better ourselves with tasks or work, but sometimes we just need someone to listen, and they can have four paws and a wagging tail. Here are seven ways having a pet can do wonders for your mental health

Having a pet can be a wonderful thing / Picture Credit: Unsplash

Having a pet can be a wonderful thing / Picture Credit: Unsplash

Sense of purpose 

Having a pet, someone else to care for other than yourself, can boost your mental health significantly. 

A pet can give you a sense of purpose in the way that you have someone to live and care for. They can ensure you get up in a morning (to feed them), and make sure you get out of the house (to walk a dog, for example). 

Pets can give us many reasons to live, but can also make us grateful and happy to receive their love and affection. 


Many people decide to get a pet to decrease their loneliness, and it is a wonderful way to do so. 

Getting a pet is highly likely to make you happier as there is someone else in your home; someone who will listen to you without judgement. This may seem silly to some, but speaking to your pet, even though they can’t understand you, is deeply therapeutic. 

Plus, you can enjoy all the things you love doing at home with your new companion. 

Physical contact 

It has been proven that petting an animal can reduce stress significantly, so why not get yourself a furry or feathered friend to help reduce your stress or anxiety? 

If you feel anxious, then you may wish to grab hold of a stress ball. However, having a living being in your home to pet will no doubt calm you down for a while. 

Guinea Pigs make wonderful companions / Picture Credit: Unsplash
Guinea Pigs make wonderful companions / Picture Credit: Unsplash


This may be catered more towards dog owners, as having a pet, a dog in particular, can motivate you to get out of the house and exercise both you and your canine companion. 

Dogs, especially younger pups, require quite a lot of exercise, therefore, getting a dog will force you out of the house to get some fresh air; once you do it enough, you’ll get to love when it’s time for a walk. 

Whether you go for a jog or a stroll around the park, getting some clean air and being active will feel brilliant, especially since you’ll have an adorable helper at hand. 


Having a pet (or multiple pets!) can be stressful at times, especially if you’re new to owning an animal. 

Getting a pet will require you to become more organised, if you weren’t already; putting their food in the perfect place, feeding them on time, taking them out for a walk if they need one, and so on. 

All these things may seem daunting, but once you arrange your home to fit your new friend, it’ll be calmer and more organised than ever. 

Take your time finding the perfect pet for you / Picture Credit: Unsplash
Take your time finding the perfect pet for you / Picture Credit: Unsplash

Social interaction 

The past two years (2020 and 2021) have been rather lonely for many people, and some are still feeling alone. 

Having someone else in your home, even if it’s your pet, can do wonders for your mental health. Despite them not being able to talk back (unless you have a parrot), will no doubt make you feel less alone. 

A dog, for example, is a great pet to get if you want to meet new people. Dog training classes or even a walk in a dog friendly park can see you speaking with others about your mutual love for pets. 

Reduce stress 

Many people feel as though having a pet, from a horse, dog or cat, to a hamster, can lower your blood pressure and reduce stress. 

Research has proved this theory, and it has even been said that simply watching fish swim about in an aquarium or outdoor pond can reduce stress levels. 

Pets are wonderful things to have, and can help us in so many ways, so getting any type of pet is sure to reduce anxiety and stress, and raise happiness and even fitness levels (depending on what pet you decide on). 

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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