Owning a pet aids mental health

February 24, 2021 1:30 PM

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Photo of the author's bunny, courtesy of Rebecca Soto.

Photo of the author's bunny, courtesy of Rebecca Soto.

Animals are a lot to handle, but they bring out the best in people. I believe that animals are the best source of happiness for people who have mental health issues, such as anxiety and feelings of rejection. 

Animals are always there to bring out the best in people and can reduce anxiety and stress. This issue is important to me because I think that having a companion is better than individuals feeling lonely. I care a lot about this issue because I have a pet bunny. He has brought a lot of happiness and taught me responsibility, as well. He has also brought me to the animal side of the world and made me curious to learn about different species. According to the mental health nonprofit HelpGuide’s article, “The Health and Mood Boosting Benefits of Pets,” “Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health.” They believe that having a pet around you can reduce negative feelings and bring out the best in you, such as encouraging you to be active and improve your health.

In life, people sometimes have to deal with rejection from their friends and family. However, animals will be there for you, regardless, to make you feel accepted. According to the authors of “The Truth About Cats and Dogs: Pets Are Good for Mental Health of ‘Everyday People” published by the American Psychological Association,  “The last study, comprising 97 undergraduates with an average age of 19, found that pets can make people feel better after experiencing rejection.” This shows that when someone is experiencing rejection, an animal can make them feel better. Animals are important to have because they make people feel accepted.

Some people with a different perspective might think that having pets is expensive and a waste of money. This is because when you want the right breed to go with you or a specific diagnosis, buying that pet or taking them to the vet can cost a lot. According to Anna Hecht of CNBC, “It’s estimated that owning a dog costs about $1,400 to $4,300 per year” and “at the far end of the spectrum, those willing to pay premium prices to cover their dog’s needs can end up spending nearly $10,000 a year.” Though this evidence may be true, why should people think about how expensive owning a pet is when your wellbeing and how the animal makes you feel matters more?

In conclusion, I believe that animals are the best source for helping to control mental health issues such as having anxiety and feeling rejected. There should be a percentage off on the price of pet ownership for people who have mental health issues. From my perspective, having an animal brought me happiness. If I had never gotten a pet, I would never have had the experience that I have today.

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