Mental Health and Pets

Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with my dog, Molly. Here she is now-


(Above, Molly.)

Look at her tongue!

Pets do magnificent wonders for our mental health. Whenever we’re down and lonely, their innocent little selves are always there to give us affection, to keep us active, to remind us we aren’t alone.

Here are some beautiful stories (and beautiful pets) that show just how important pets are for helping our mental health.



(Left: Charlie.)

“Charlie lets me hold onto him during anxiety attacks and helps me steady my breathing of we’re home alone, if other people are home he sits down next to me and barks until someone comes to help.” -Annie O’Neill.




(Above: Cosmo.)

“Dogs are like old people in that they sit happily blinking on couches only vaguely understanding what is going on in the world around them. They don’t have body dysmorphia or a Xanax addiction or an absurdly long therapy waiting list, and yet they have everything they need: they can smell when dinner is being cooked and brought to them, they can hear the loving tone in every word their family says to them even if they don’t always know what they mean, and they can enjoy the feeling of the sun on their face without having to question it in the slightest. This is why I love Cosmo. Sitting next to him on the sofa, listening to him snore or seeing him glance up at rattly kitchen noises with light gleaming off his little white head, remind me that life— for all its pretentious tomfoolery— is really a nice simple business there to be enjoyed and cuddled. And although he may wee on the carpet, at least he never voted for Brexit.” -S.B. 


(Above: left, Jester. Right, Candy.)

“One time I was crying, and Jester jumped onto the sofa and lay on his back on my belly and just fell asleep there until I stopped.” -Anonymous.



(Left: Milly.)

“When College finished, all my friends drifted apart and all I had left was my dog, Milly. She died just before Uni started, and it was the saddest I’ve ever been.” -Anonymous.



(Above: Lenny.)

“When I was in a crisis, I was able to convince myself that if I did commit, my family would overtime be able to understand and kind of move on, but one of the main reasons why I didn’t go through with it was because I realised Lenny would not have ever understood. It broke my heart to imagine him coming into my room and looking for me and that he would never see me again, especially since when I was having extreme depressive episodes I would spend time with him, because he never pressured me to talk about my feelings and I felt safe, so for me he was the one I could go to when my mental illness was telling me that I couldn’t trust anyone and that I shouldn’t be alive.

(Above: Evie.)

I guess you could say he saved my life in a way, because he was there for me when noone else really knew what was happening.

“When Lenny died only a few months later, I started to slip back into my depression, but I was able to stay strong because I knew how much hiss loss had affected my family and I was able to power through it. Even when we got Evie and she was a little rat, I remember my Dad commenting about how happier I seemed and how much more time I was spending with the family, rather than staying in my room and having low moods. I genuinely believe that having a pet, especially one that gives you affection, is the sure for mental health problems. Sure, they won’t fix everything, I still have low moods and panic attacks, but I know that no matter how I act or what problems I have, my dog will unconditionally love me and I think every single person should experience that.” -L.S.


(Left: Sam,)

“This is my cat Sam. He purrs like a lawn mower and basically just lazes about the house all day and he licks you if he really loves you. He’s a very loyal cat even if he can be a grumpy old man. We lost him for 5 years but he came back to us.” –Hannah Docherty



(Above: left and middle, Poseidon. Right, Neptune.)

“Tilly was more of a therapist for me. I would go to her and just vent my feelings and get hugs- she was like… all the emotional support I got at home.

“Poseidon and Neptune… they get me out of a rut. I can no longer lay in bed and dwell on how I feel and be lazy when things get bad because they are so dependent on me. I have to get up and feed them and clean their litter tray and make sure they are safe. And because I’m not laying around all day I start to feel better an it kinda gives me a sense of purpose because they need me.” -Sahra-anne



3 thoughts on “Mental Health and Pets

  1. Two cats growing up, and although I knew they were emotionally manipulating me (cats are not ‘people pets’ for anyone still believing that!) it always made be feel better to be surrounded, slept on and kicked out of my bed by two honest creatures who were never afraid of been themselves
    Merely very good actors when they needed to be!


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