Four Ways Pets Keep Depression at Bay

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Depression not only impacts your ability to enjoy life, depression can also impact your physical health. Learn how pets can help stave off depression.

Pets keep you active.
Playing with a pet or walking your pet keeps you active. When you are active, your body releases chemicals called endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body.

Pets keep you social.
People are social beings, and interacting with others is essential to our psychological well being. Whether it’s interactive with other pet owners or saying hello to your neighbor while walking your dog — connecting with others helps keep depression at bay.

Pets give you unconditional love.
Studies reveal that petting a cat or dog can make you feel good and owning a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and boost levels of serotonin in the brain.

Pets depend on you and force you to develop a routine.
Responsibility and routine, says Dr. Ian Cook, director of the DepressionResearch and Clinic Program at UCLA, are important for overcoming depression. The daily responsibility of caring for a pet can help counter depression.