Pets Health


What Animals Are Good for Anxiety and Depression?

People with pets generally report fewer mental health problems, and people suffering from anxiety disorders may qualify for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Dogs can motivate by exercising outdoors.

Pets offer emotional comfort and companionship at an economical cost; some animals require greater maintenance than others.


Dogs are one of the most beloved household pets and have been shown to significantly lower anxiety in their owners. Affectionate and social, dogs are great companions and distractions while their playful nature provides exercise motivation and can boost serotonin levels, create an oxytocin surge, and decrease cortisol production – all essential steps towards mood improvement!

Petting a pet, even just briefly, has been proven to reduce stress levels significantly in under 10 minutes. Dogs produce an oxytocin high which lowers heart rates and blood pressure significantly while simultaneously comforting people through their large eyes and their symbolism of unconditional love, creating positive emotional states for many people.

Dogs can help their owners feel secure by acting as an invisible barrier against strangers or strange noises, inspiring a sense of power and confidence through their larger size – this may make people who suffer from anxiety feel safer as they think that someone with such a powerful pet would more likely defend them from potential threats.

And dogs offer numerous health and psychological benefits, including forcing their owners to engage in physical activity that will enhance moods and ease tension. Furthermore, some dogs have even been trained as therapy or psychiatric service animals which could even qualify as emotional support animals without needing to register with appropriate authorities.


Dogs can be great therapy for depression and anxiety; however, before making your decision to bring one into your home you must consider both its level of care requirements as well as your lifestyle before making your choice. Keep in mind that dogs need lots of attention; being left alone for extended periods may not be good for them and this could pose some problems for those suffering from anxiety and depression; but the rewards of owning one could be considerable.

Considering adopting a dog? A professional animal behaviorist will be able to recommend the most appropriate breeds and sizes based on your lifestyle needs, from small puppies up to Great Danes.


Millions of people own cats and have found comfort, companionship, and calm in them. Though scientific research into this phenomenon is still in its infancy, cats do provide emotional and mental health benefits; for instance, their rhythmical purring can help regulate heart rate and breathing while repeated stroking can be highly soothing. Furthermore, cats’ unconditional love may trigger dopamine release in your brain which in turn boosts your mood while counteracting depression and anxiety symptoms.

Playing with a cat helps both body and mind exercise, which may help decrease symptoms of depression. Furthermore, cats are low-maintenance pets requiring very little care or attention to keep happy; making them ideal as ESAs. Many organizations also utilize cats as therapy animals during visits to hospitals, hospices, assisted living homes, nursing homes, or schools – with children often petting and cuddling the animal which provides comfort to both visitors and staff alike.

Many individuals struggle with social interaction, often contributing to depression and anxiety. A pet can provide an outlet for emotional expression; one which is nonjudgmental, reliable, and always there when needed. Furthermore, pets act as distractions that encourage participation in activities they might otherwise avoid doing on their own.

Note that not all owners experience these positive effects of pet ownership. Some may find having a pet worsens their symptoms due to increased maintenance time or inappropriate behavior of the animal; but for those with strong desires of owning one and feel they’ll benefit from its presence, owning one may well be worth giving a try.

While cats and dogs may be the go-to animals for mental health support, there are other animals such as rabbits and birds which may also help, although not all will suit everyone’s lifestyle or require approval before owning or living with.


Dogs may be thought of as ideal support animals for anxiety and depression, but cats and rabbits may also prove useful as companions. These adorable critters bond quickly with humans to offer companionship that helps lower stress levels, boost self-esteem, learn new skills, exercise more efficiently, as well as provide mental stimulation through pet ownership responsibility and giving something positive to look forward to each day – not forgetting stroking and cuddling animals can release happy hormones such as oxytocin!

Domestic rabbits are highly social and docile animals, making them great pets to have in the home. Rabbits can easily be clicker trained to respond to their name or perform tricks; their small size makes them great companions for those with limited space; however, owners must prepare their home appropriately as rabbits may chew up cords or destroy toys that could harm both you and the rabbit.

To acquire an Emotional Support Animal, you will require documentation from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist stating your animal is necessary as part of your treatment plan. Some airlines and housing establishments also require this documentation before permitting pets into no-pet areas such as aircraft cabins. Some online companies charge fees to register your ESA with them and will send you certificates, cute vests, and ID tags; but registration with one will only provide temporary legal protection against prosecution for ownership issues.

If you suffer from depression and would like a companion, consider adopting a low-maintenance pet such as a hamster, gerbil, or rabbit is an inexpensive and fun solution to providing companionship and helping reduce loneliness. These animals make ideal options for people without much time to devote to more interactive pets such as parrots. These creatures also make ideal options for those suffering from PTSD and other mental health conditions.


Birds may not be your go-to pet when it comes to anxiety and depression relief. But they make one of the best companions. Birds are highly affectionate creatures who make great therapy animals. Plus, they’re fantastic at entertaining themselves for extended periods while keeping owners company.

And bird songs can be very soothing to our souls; not just due to their beautiful sounds; listening to bird songs has been proven to help people focus and reduce stress levels. Studies have even demonstrated how birdsong may lower heart rates, blood pressure levels, and stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol levels.

Studies published in 2020 demonstrated that hearing or seeing birds was associated with increased mental well-being scores for its participants, even after they stopped seeing or hearing birds, suggesting there is an association between nature and happiness. Although participants in this study weren’t required to identify which specific bird caused their improved well-being, certain types may influence people differently depending on cultural interpretation – for instance, owls have long been associated with superstition, fear, death, and sorrow in certain societies while in other traditions they symbolize wisdom, endurance, and longevity.

And birds are also an excellent source of magnesium, an essential mineral for mood and stress regulation. Magnesium can be found in foods like whole grains, greens, and nuts; its lack can result in feather plucking, vocalization, and other signs of distress among birds. To help your stressed bird relax try providing them with magnesium-rich food such as spinach, kale, broccoli, or beans; you can find supplements of this mineral at most pet stores as well. Finally, calcium supplements can also provide comfort as they promote nerve health and brain development – an addition to their diet!