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Anyone who has an animal will tell you how much joy pets can bring to their lives. There are many reasons people have animals in their homes. Some people get pets because they feel less alone, others might use them for entertainment, and people can even get pets to help with their mental health. Animals can help people feel less nervous or stressed out. Therapy animals can also be brought into schools to help children learn to read. Below are some common pets and therapy animals that can help alleviate stress.


Dogs socialize

Dogs are one of the most well-known therapy animals. People can be seen all over with their therapy dogs. There is actually research that shows children who read to a trained therapy dog are less likely to feel nervous and are more likely to be confident when learning to read. Dogs are a great therapy pet because they are loyal and loving, and can even encourage people to get out and exercise and be more social.



One study shows that when participants were petting a rabbit, it helped get rid of anxiety and stress. This was compared to petting a stuffed rabbit and toy turtle. It was reported that the actual furry creature was the most effective in helping the adults rid of the stress they were feeling. Rabbits are adorable little creatures that won’t take up too much room in your house. They are also quiet animals, so they won’t bother you.



Cats have a mind of their own compared to dogs, but there are still great stress relieving benefits to having a cat. In fact, taking care of a cat is easy. Kittens, especially are playful and can bring joy to people’s lives. Just petting a cat can help a person feel more relaxed and less stressed out after a long day.



Fish may not be the first type of animal you think of when you are figuring out what pet to own to help alleviate stress, but there is research to show having fish can be beneficial. Studies show that focusing on fish allows people to be more relaxed. In this study, a group of alzheimer’s patients frequently ate meals in front of fish tanks. Those people showed better health as they were more likely to eat all their food and had more energy.



Just sitting outside on the porch listening to and watching the birds can help you relax. In fact, there is almost no need to get one as a pet if you live in a place where they are near. Having a bird for a pet can also be a great stress reliever. Birds can heighten a positive mood with their singing and bright, beautiful colors. They can also help make a person feel less alone. Most birds are also pretty easy to take care of, and some can even be trained. Birds are fun pets that can also boost mental health.



Horses are another pet that can help to alleviate stress in humans. Horses are beautiful creatures that have many positive aspects when it comes to owning one as a pet. Horses can be trained so that people can ride them. Being out in nature riding the trails with your horse can be a great stress relieving activity. Even just taking care of a horse can also be very therapeutic. Horses are definitely more work than some of the other animals, but research shows that taking care of a horse can help to reduce the symptoms of PTSD. Taking care of your horse is important, and if you take horse health seriously, they can live a long and meaningful life.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs

Guinea pigs are another great therapy pet that people might not think of. Like rabbits, they are small and quiet, and won’t take up too much room. In a study conducted with guinea pigs, it was found that children who had been diagnosed with autism benefitted from having the pet in their classroom. It allowed them to be social, positive, and showed signs that they did not possess as much stress than they did when there was no pet in the room.

If you are looking for a therapy pet to alleviate stress, there are many different ones that are available to you. It depends on what level of commitment you would like to have. Some pets, like cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and birds, are easier to take care of. Pets such as horses and dogs require a bit more time and energy when it comes to the level of care. Whatever therapy animal you decide to get, be sure to care for them, love them, and reap all the benefits of living a less stressful life when they are with you.