How do animals affect mental health? Have you ever had a rough time and wanted someone to talk to, but you didn’t want to put up with people? Well, animals are an option. Many peoples’ pets make them feel better. When you’re depressed or angry, petting a dog may help. But, why do animals make us feel better?

According to Cancer.net, animals can “lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and decrease depression.” They also said that, “animals increase levels of the hormone oxytocin.” Oxytocin is a hormone that creates “calmness and comfort.”

What is an ESA? ESA stands for “Emotional Support Animal.” Any type of pet can be an ESA, as long as a professional deems them the title. The pets can travel anywhere and everywhere with the patient. “From personal experience, they really help when you have bad thoughts, are feeling bad, etc. You have something there that will listen to you and not judge you for anything you feel,” said Micah White, a previous ESA owner.