How Do Pets Affect Your Brain? Exploring the Impact of Pets on Our Health
How Do Pets Affect Your Brain? Exploring the Impact of Pets on Our Health Staff

Most people look forward to getting home because they have loyal companions to meet and spend time with - their pets. The love offered by a pet does more than just keeping its owner company.

For instance, pets are known to improve the health of their owners’ hearts, decrease stress, and help people with social and emotional problems. In addition, pets help in reducing levels of cortisol and lowering blood pressure.

Other benefits of keeping a pet include boosting our moods, making us positive about social interactions, and reducing loneliness. With all these benefits, someone might argue that we should all keep pets.

However, do we know how they affect our brains? Is the effect positive just like the other benefits discussed above?

Pets help with mental health

Emotional support animals can be defined as animal companions that provide support and different types of benefits to people suffering from mental illnesses. ESAs might play an important supporting role in the treatment of mental health. Also,

For instance, a person suffering from mental illnesses such as depression can keep a pet to get a sense of purpose and hope for a better life. These animals stimulate the production of oxytocin, which is considered to be a happy hormone, something that helps get rid of different mental illnesses.

Keeping a pet increases exercise

Keeping a pet, especially a dog means that you will dedicate some time to walking the dog or even playing with it. This is important when it comes to ensuring that the dog is healthy and fit. However, most people do not know that walking a pet does not help the pet alone, it also helps them remain fit.

Walking a dog and playing with it creates a deep connection between the pet and its owner. It also helps in getting rid of behavioral problems. The pet owner also exercises in the process, meaning that their bodies are fit and healthy.

This helps their mind remain alert at all times. Such people tend to be more productive compared to those who do not exercise.

Helps children with ADHD and Autism

ADHD and autism are common conditions that affect millions of children across the globe. These conditions make life difficult for such children. However, keeping pets, especially dogs comes in handy for children, as well as adults with ADHD. Pets help them focus more on their attention, something that has been difficult to achieve.

On the other hand, children suffering from autism can also benefit from keeping pets such as guinea pigs. When the children play with these pets, their anxiety levels reduce, they engage more with other children, and their social interaction behavior improves.

These are conditions that affect the brain, and pets can help improve the behavior of people suffering from such conditions.

Reduces anxiety

One of the most important benefits of keeping a pet is having reduced anxiety. Pet owners get companionship from their pets. This comes with increased comfort, self-confidence, and eases anxiety, something that is important for those who find it difficult to go out into public places.

Pets do not care about tomorrow or things that might have happened in the past. They care about what is happening at the moment. This helps people appreciate what they have. They also become more mindful about their priorities and the things that they care about. All this happens in the mind.

Boosts memory and mood

Keeping a pet plays a crucial role when it comes to the release of a neurotransmitter hormone known as dopamine. This is a chemical that is produced in the body of human beings and is used when conveying messages in brain cells.

This hormone helps improve the bonding characteristics in pet owners and positive feelings about different things in their lives.

If you find a person whose levels of dopamine are abnormal, they could be suffering from disorders such as Tourette syndrome, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Keeping a pet boosts the release of this hormone and helps boost your memory and mood. 


Pets play a very important role when it comes to the health of their owners. Even though we might not realize it, the benefits that they bring cannot be underestimated. We should, therefore, make sure that they are happy and healthy at all times for us to reap all these benefits.

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