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Picture of a group of dogs and cats (different breeds) sitting next to one another and all looking at the camera for a nice picture.

MENTAL HEALTH MINUTE
BY: KELLY, LMSW


The Pet Effect on your Mental Health!


Did you know that August is National Dog Month? I know I sure love my rescue dog, Marvin, and he loves me. This seems like a great time to take a look at "The Pet Effect" on your mental health!

Turns out that evidence suggests that attachment to pets is good for human health and even helps build a better community.

It's no secret that pets can contribute to your happiness. Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression; ease loneliness; encourage exercise and improve your overall health. For example, people with dogs tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop heart disease. Just playing with a dog has been shown to raise levels of the feel-good brain chemicals oxytocin and dopamine, creating positive feelings and bonding for both the person and their pet.

Pets can be especially helpful as we age. In a survey on healthy aging, adults over 50 who had pets reported having lower stress levels, a better sense of purpose, and more social connection than their non-pet owning counterparts. All of these are key in reducing memory decline!

Whole health begins with mental health. Let it begin with you!

Be well!

Kelly Bradford, Social Worker