Tagged: benefits of pets

Benefits of Pets for Mental Illnesses

Americans love pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, the U.S. is home to more than 77 million dogs and 93 million cats. Sixty-two percent of our country's households own a pet, and some of these pet owners are living with mental illnesses. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that at least 26.2 percent of adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Major depressive disorder affects 6.7 percent, while dysthymic disorder affects 1.5 percent. About 2.6 percent has bipolar disorder, 1.1 percent has schizophrenia, and 18.1 percent suffer from anxiety disorders.