Having a pet or therapy animal can do wonders for your anxiety, especially in your aging years. A recent study explains how owning a pet can significantly improve your health and overall well-being. From calming anxiety to reducing stress and even easing symptoms of depression, there’s no denying that pets make a positive impact on our lives.

Nearly 18% of adults, as many as 40 million people, suffer from anxiety disorders every single year. While anxiety disorders can be treated and symptoms can be relieved, only 36.9% of adults experiencing anxiety seek appropriate treatment. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders usually result from a combination of factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Anxiety, Photo Credit: Artur (iStock).

Photo Credit: Artur (iStock).

Typical symptoms of anxiety may include restlessness, excessive worry, nervousness, rapid breathing, fatigue, trembling, sweating, and even an increased heart rate, which can lead to a panic attack. When it comes to easing these symptoms, pets can be extremely helpful. The simple act of petting or cuddling your dog can help calm you down in a matter of seconds, making you feel less anxious and tense. Through pet ownership, many people are effectively managing day-to-day anxiety without prescription medications.

While pet therapy in on the rise, always seek professional help when it comes to diagnosing and treating mental health issues including anxiety and depression.

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