Pets and Mental Health

Pets bring so much joy, comfort, and companionship into our lives. Their unconditional love helps ease loneliness, anxiety, and stress. Whether it’s cuddling with a cat, playing fetch with a dog, or watching fish swim, pets provide a sense of calm and happiness.

Interacting with pets releases oxytocin, the “love hormone,” which lowers blood pressure and boosts well-being. Caring for a pet also gives us purpose and routine, promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the positive impact our pets have on our mental health and celebrate the special bond we share with them. Whether they’re cheering us up, offering a listening ear (or wagging tail), or just being there for us, our pets truly enrich our lives in countless ways.

We Have a Winner!

Loudest bork competition post featuring two dogs with green ascots

Thank you to all who participated!

Shortcake

Please find attached a photo of Shortcake, who is not just a pet but a beacon of light in my life.

Cheeni

Cheeni (short for Fettuccine and also means ‘Sugar’ in Tamil).

Angus

This is Angus! Angus was abandoned at a high-kill shelter in Texas and made his way to Vermont in July 2023.

Frederic

Frederic is a fun, playful, and affectionate 2-year-old cream-colored neutered male tabby cat. 

Xander

A fun fact about Xander is: He has a younger sister Australian Shepherd, Willa. Willa LOVES to play with flying discs. Xander has no interest in catching the discs, but he absolutely loves to play Defense and keep her from getting her prize! 

Lucille Louise

Fun Fact: I have bad anxiety when I have friends come over to visit me, and they have to leave, so I have trained myself to grab one of my toys (or anything else that is nearby) and shake it violently to show them how angry I am that they are leaving. 

Sunny & Otie

I have two cats currently, Sunny & Otie, who help me manage my symptoms of mental illness of PTSD and BPD. By climbing on my lap and letting me pet them and hold them, I feel less alone and a little less stressed.  

Millie

Millie is a rescue from Mississippi, we adopted her from a rescue in Massachusetts last Fall. She may only have three legs (we aren’t sure what happened to cause the injury when she was living down south), but it doesn’t slow her down in the slightest!

Ziggy

Ziggy is a 2-year-old Yorkie Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix and my first “little” dog. Fun fact: his favorite toy is a stuffed Grinch.

Henry Grr Waugh

Henry is truly my tiny miracle, always there to hold me accountable in ways I never could on my own.

NAMI Ending the Silence

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If you’re 18-35 and have experienced the challenges of a mental health condition, your story holds immense power. Become an Ending the Silence presenter and make a lasting impact on students across Vermont.

Ready to share your story? Connect with us at [email protected]. Let’s break the silence together!

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