4 in 5 Pet Owners Enjoy Better Mental Health From Owning a Pet

by Britt

Ask any pet owner and they can tell you that owning a pet has improved their lives. They are our best friends, our confidants, and our adventure buddies. But a new study from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) may shine a new light on the important role that pets play in our lives!

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According to the study, there has been a growing understanding of and focus on the human-animal bond and the way that it can improve the lives of both us and our pets.

In a national survey of over 3500 U.S. adults with at least one pet, HABRI revealed that more people are aware of the human-animal bond than ever before. In fact, support for the benefits of pet ownership have even grown in the medical world. Of the adults surveyed, 97% were aware of at least one scientifically documented health benefit of owning a pet. These benefits were discussed by 64% of pet owners with at least one other person. 

“These new results capture how pets are front-and-center in our lives, a trend accelerated by the pandemic,” explained Steven Feldman, president of HABRI. “Pets are so important, especially to our mental health, that more than 1-in-5 pet owners said a doctor or therapist had recommended pet ownership.”

Not only does sharing your heart and home with a pet help your mental health, but 76% of the pet owners surveyed also reported that their personal health had improved. This comes as no surprise when you consider the impact that a pet can have on your lifestyle. Dog owners are more physically active than non-dog owners. Meanwhile, the frequency of a cat’s purr has been proven to have a positive effect on the joint health of their owners.

If you needed a good reason to add another pet to your family, this is it!

The best part? These benefits aren’t only felt by us pet owners. Our growing love of pets and the bond that we share has improved their lives as well. The more that we learn about the human-animal bond, the more we are willing to make life changes as necessary for the life of our pets (or future pets).

The study found that 61% of pet owners would be willing to move or change housing just so that they can add a pet to the family. This highlights a bigger problem in our society with the many rules and restrictions surrounding renting with pets. But that’s not the only sacrifice. It was also revealed that 45% of study participants would change jobs just so that they would have more time to spend at home with their pets.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that more families across the country are welcoming pets into their home. After all, we could all use a little boost in our physical and mental health. Especially when that boost comes with 4 legs and fur!


Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

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