How Pets Are Helping People With Mental Disorders


Animals are said to have the ability to calm people, bring them happiness, and save lives.  Pets are a natural remedy for many problems that people suffer with.  Most recently, it has been found that pets are extraordinary at helping kids with autism.  

According to, “…research found having a pet in the home helps autistic children become more empathetic and better identify with others.”  That’s a big deal with kids who suffer with the disorder because it can be extremely difficult for them to interact with others and focus.

When testing kids with autism in a classroom setting, guinea pigs were brought in and it was found that autistic kids smiled and laughed more when they were around the pets as opposed to toys. Other kids who weren’t autistic more readily approached the the kids and the autistic children were much more social, looking into people’s eyes.

Pets can help in a variety of different settings.  For instance, having them present in a therapy session can work wonders to help kids to calm down.  It can also be beneficial to have a pet present when someone is learning to read or if someone has a speech impediment because the pet is a non judgemental force that can calm people down.

When I was 15, I broke my jaw and was in the hospital for a few weeks and I remember this therapy dog coming into my room.  I remember thinking how strange it was that an animal could have such kind eyes.  The dog certainly made me feel better and took my mind off of the pain that I was feeling.  

Animals can help with a variety of behavioral problems such as anxiety, depression, hypertension and other disorders that stress people out.  Putting pets in classrooms and therapy sessions can help children to calm down and focus.  

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