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Owning a Pet Can Help Ease Depression

It's a well-known fact that pets have a positive impact on emotional health. Studies have shown that people who own a pet usually cope with depression better than those who rely on medication alone. Many mental health professionals are now recommending pets to ease depression.

man leaning against dog petting him and smiling
Caring for a pet can help ease depression

Added Responsibility

For someone who's feeling depressed, one of the hardest things can be finding the motivation to get up and out of bed every morning. Pets depend on you for all of their needs and for love. Having a pet can provide that needed responsibility to get you up and keep you going.


Living with depression can often leave you feeling socially isolated. You likely don't go out as much anymore or don't enjoy doing things that you used to love. Spending time with a pet can provide a measure of social companionship, helping you feel less alone in your struggle. Pets can also be a stepping stone to interacting more with people again.

A Sense of Calm

Snuggling up with a soft animal provides an almost instant sense of calm. It diverts your attention from your depressed feelings, allowing you to connect with the positive feelings of another living being. And, if you're allergic to fur or feathers, watching fish has been shown to be therapeutic too.

Unconditional Love

Having depression can make a person feel like they are unworthy of love from anyone. Pets will always love you, whether you feel you deserve it or not. To a pet, you are their whole world. This kind of unconditional love can banish feelings of unworthiness, bolstering your self-esteem.


When you're depressed, you need to feel that someone understands. Pets can often tell when their owners aren't feeling well, responding with compassion and comfort. During a particularly bad day, an empathetic pet can do much to lift your spirits.

If you're battling depression, why not adopt a pet? They can provide the responsibility, companionship, calm, love, and empathy that you need to heal.


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