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How Animals Can Help Your Mental Health

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

Have you ever realized how therapeutic it is to just cuddle with you dog or cat when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed? You come home from an endless day, you kick off your shoes, all you want to do is starfish on your bed and Netflix your worries away. And then that familiar tap, tap, tap of your pet's paws against the floor comes running towards you. They are so excited to see you coming through the door and can't wait to give you the biggest, slobbery kiss and lay on your lap while you enjoy some serious self-care time. There’s nothing better than curling up with your cuddly fur ball after a long day.

Recently I was home for Reading Week and I was feeling down. I was feeling the stress from mid-semester and knew that I needed some relaxation time, and what better way to relax than with my family pets!? The comfort I got from my dogs was seriously amazing. My Jack Russell and West Highland Terrier laid with me and comforted me. They have always been so therapeutic for me. I remember one morning that I didn’t even want to get out of bed and my dog jumped right in bed with me and started playing around and my morning instantly got better. 

Now I’m not saying that pets are the cure for mental illnesses, but I can guarantee you that they can help. My dogs help with my anxiety and depression, as well as all-around stress. Why do you think so many universities have dog therapy days during exam week? They help reduce your stress, and of course playing with them will distract you from being overwhelmed for at least a few minutes. 

Pet counselling helps with human health. The interaction between humans and their pets is remarkable. I love the saying “A dog is a man’s best friend”. If you’ve never had the opportunity to be snuggled by a pet, I highly recommend you try it. You won’t be disappointed. But even though they say that a dog is a "man's" best friend, let's be real here, they’re everyone’s best friend. Am I right?


Written by Campus Rep Kattiana Fugere 

Edited by Executive Assistant Addie Van Rijn 


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