October 10, 2023

How Owning an Animal Can Improve Your Mental Health

By: The Humane Society of Greater Dayton

Today is World Mental Health Day – a day of awareness and advocacy for mental health issues, and here at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, we believe that one powerful way to enhance mental well-being is through the companionship of animals. Here are just a few ways that owning an animal can positively impact your mental health.

Unconditional Love and Companionship

There’s nothing quite like the unconditional love and companionship that a pet can provide. Whether it’s a wagging tail or a gentle purr, their presence can alleviate loneliness and boost your mood. Whether you are looking for a dog to go on walks with or a cat or rabbit to snuggle up with on the couch, our team at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton can help you find your ideal furry companion.

Stress Reduction

Studies have shown that interacting with animals can reduce stress and anxiety. Petting, playing, or simply being around your pet triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural stress relievers. By fostering or adopting from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, you can bring this stress-relieving magic into your life and into your home.

Increased Physical Activity

Owning a pet encourages regular physical activity. Daily walks or playtime sessions not only benefit your pet’s health but also improve your own. Staying active is crucial for maintaining good mental health. If you aren’t currently able to adopt an animal, volunteering for your local shelter is a great way to stay active and support animals. At the Humane Society of Greater Dayton we are always in need of volunteers willing to walk or play with our animals while they wait for their forever homes.

Routine and Structure

Establishing a daily routine with your pet can provide a sense of structure and purpose, which is particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with mental health challenges. Pets thrive with consistent routines and by incorporating their routines into your daily life, they are in turn helping you stay on your routine. Our shelter animals are ready to become part of your daily routine, bringing stability and joy into your life. Stop in today to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton and let us help you find your perfect match!

Social Connection

Pets can be wonderful conversation starters and social magnets. Taking your dog for a walk or visiting a dog park can lead to connections with other pet lovers, fostering a sense of belonging and community. Volunteering your time with animal shelters is also a great way to feel a sense of purpose with a group of like-minded individuals.

Reduced Feelings of Isolation

Pets can help combat feelings of isolation by providing constant companionship. Whether you’re working from home or living alone, having a pet by your side can make a significant difference. We have shelter pets of all types, ages and personalities ready to keep you company.

Emotional Support

Animals are excellent at providing emotional support. They have an innate ability to sense when you’re feeling down or anxious and can offer comfort and solace. Visit our shelter and let one of our loving animals become your emotional support system.


On this World Mental Health Day, we encourage you to consider how owning an animal can positively impact your mental health. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is here to help you find your perfect furry friend through volunteering, fostering or even adoption. By bringing a pet into your life, you not only improve your own well-being but also provide a loving home for an animal in need. Together, we can create a world where mental health is nurtured, and the bonds between humans and animals flourish. For more information on our programs, please visit www.hsdayton.org.

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, photos or information regarding these stories, contact media@hsdayton.org

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