Pets can benefit mental health

Calvin Lescher
Public Relations

Mental Health Pet
Princess Buttercup is an example of a dog who brings joy to her family and helps reduce stress. Photo by Calvin Lescher

According to “HelpGuide,” “Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.”

“My dog helped a lot when my depression was really bad, or whenever it does act up, I feel better knowing that I can go home and lay down with my dogs,” Xavier Juroitich, junior, said about his dogs.

“Pets are really great especially in younger children in the development empathy so in terms of viewing that idea of creating empathetic people you’re creating people that are more intune with emotions other people’s emotions and being reflective, additionally most pets love unconditionally and are super supportive so they can be calming effect,” Cassie Aschinger, school counselor, said.

Petting animals has also been proven to lower blood pressure and stress levels. Research was done by the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to see how owning a pet helped with exercise. The results were that the mean weight loss was 15% after a year of walking a dog, according to “Helpguide.”

“HelpGuide” also said owning a pet is also a conversation starter to meet new people. Studies show that people who walk dogs when they meet other dog walkers are much more likely to have a conversation together.

Overall pets help if the proper care and attention can be brought to them and can improve not only mental health, but also physical health.

Calvin Lescher – Public Relations Officer

This will be Calvin Lescher’s second year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his sophomore year. He is excited to meet and interview interesting people. He hopes to make a positive contribution to the Echo.

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