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What Pet Is Best For Anxiety?




Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Roberston

What Pet Is Best For Anxiety



Dr. Joel Robertson

Veterinarian, BMT

The information in this article is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research

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Navigating through anxiety can be challenging. While professional help is crucial, the companionship and comfort of a pet can be a therapeutic addition to your mental health strategy.

This guide aims to help you identify the best pet for managing anxiety, considering various species and their unique benefits.

1. Dogs

What Pet Is Best For Anxiety

Dogs are known for their loyalty and companionship. They can sense human emotions and are often responsive to their owners’ needs, providing comfort and unconditional love.

Regular walks and playtime with dogs can also promote physical activity and routine, which are beneficial for managing anxiety.

Labrador Retrievers are known for their gentle, calming, and patient nature.

They are highly trainable and are often used as therapy and service dogs due to their intuitive understanding of human emotions. They are loyal and eager to please their owners, which makes them an ideal companion for those in need.

2. Cats

The soft purring of a cat and its gentle demeanor can have a soothing effect on individuals with anxiety.

Cats require less attention compared to dogs, which can be ideal for people with a busy schedule or those who prefer a less demanding pet.

Plus, cats are less expensive to feed and require fewer trips to the vet. For those who like their home environment to be relatively quiet and free from mess, cats will generally cause less disruption than their canine counterparts.

Ragdolls are known for their affectionate nature and love for being close to their human companions.

They are often referred to as “puppy-like” cats because they enjoy following their owners around and being held.

3. Rabbits

Rabbits are quiet, gentle animals that love to cuddle. Their soft fur and calm nature can provide tactile comfort and soothing companionship to those suffering from anxiety. They are relatively low-maintenance and can easily fit into most living spaces.

Plus, rabbits do not require as much exercise as larger animals such as dogs or cats. If you are looking for a pet that is both easy to care for and provides emotional benefits, consider getting a rabbit.

Holland Lops are friendly, affectionate, and enjoy the company of their human friends. Their small size and distinctive lopped ears also add to their endearing qualities.

4. Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are sociable and gentle creatures. Their quiet nature and need for routine care can provide individuals with anxiety a sense of calm and purpose. Guinea pigs are also quite resilient and can offer those with depression a feeling of accomplishment when goals are met.

When cared for properly, guinea pigs can form strong bonds with their owners, providing companionship and unconditional love. With the right setup and dietary requirements, these small animals can make wonderful additions to any family.

American Guinea Pigs are known for their docile and friendly nature. They are generally easy to handle and enjoy social interactions, making them a great choice for those with anxiety.

5. Fish

Watching fish swim can be a meditative practice, providing calming visual stimulation. The routine of feeding and maintaining an aquarium can also provide structure and a sense of responsibility.

As a pet, fish can be relatively low maintenance, making them an ideal choice for owners with busy schedules or limited living space.

When selecting the right aquarium and species of fish, research is key to success.

Betta Fish are beautiful and easy to care for. Watching them glide peacefully through the water can have a calming effect.

6. Birds

Listening to a bird’s gentle chirping can have a calming effect. Birds are also interactive and can provide companionship without the need for constant attention. With the right pet bird, you can have a delightful addition to your home and family.

There are plenty of pet birds from which to choose, each with its own unique personality and appearance. Parrots are among the most popular pet birds because they are highly intelligent creatures that bond closely with their owners.

Budgerigars, also known as budgies or parakeets, are friendly, intelligent, and sociable. They can even learn to mimic speech and often form strong bonds with their owners.

7. Hamsters

Hamsters are small, cuddly pets that require routine care. Their needs can provide a sense of purpose, and watching them go about their day can be a soothing distraction.

They need a large, secure cage for exploring and playing. A variety of chew toys and activity wheels can help to keep them occupied and stimulated.

Syrian hamsters, also known as Teddy bears or Golden Hamsters, are larger than most other breeds, often more relaxed, and generally enjoy being held and cuddled.

8. Horses

Interacting with horses can provide a sense of calm and present-mindedness. Equine therapy is a recognized approach to treating various mental health conditions, including anxiety.

When engaging with horses, it is important to approach them in a way that will make them feel safe and secure.

This means talking to them calmly and in a low voice, as well as being aware of their body language.

Quarter Horses are calm, gentle, and intelligent. They are often used in therapeutic riding programs due to their patient nature and steady temperament.

9. Reptiles

Reptiles are typically quiet and require less social interaction than mammals. This can be beneficial for those who feel overwhelmed by social demands.

Reptiles also require a smaller amount of space to keep than cats and dogs, making them ideal for small living spaces.

Leopard Geckos are quiet, easy to care for, and have a docile nature. They’re typically very tolerant of handling, making them a good choice for those with anxiety.

10. Therapy Rats

Despite common misconceptions, rats are intelligent, affectionate, and sociable pets. Therapy rats, in particular, can provide comfort, which can be beneficial for individuals with anxiety.

They can be trained to perform tricks, like fetching and jumping through hoops. Rats are also very clean animals and spend a lot of time grooming themselves.

Fancy Rats are known for their friendly and calm demeanor. They are highly sociable, enjoy human companionship, and can even learn tricks, providing distraction and engagement for individuals with anxiety.

In Conclusion

The right pet can offer immense comfort and companionship for those dealing with anxiety.

Whether it’s the loyal dog, the soothing cat, or even the quiet fish, the best pet for you largely depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences.

Remember, while pets offer therapeutic benefits, they complement but do not replace professional mental health treatment.

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