For most of us, we think fondly on our favorite childhood pet or family animal. Whether dog, cat, bird or even chickens, pets in all shapes and sizes have captured the hearts of many of us as our faithful companions and friends. We are grateful for the laughs they provide, the pets they allow us to give and the adventures they accompany us on.

But is there more to the fondness than just loyal friendship? Are these animals providing actual real mental health benefits to those they spend time with? Research points to yes.

Animal interaction is said to provide a number of health (mental and physical) benefits for us as humans. Some rather large benefits include reduced blood pressure, lowered anxiety levels, reduced aggression and improved immune systems. All of these benefits and more make the argument for including animals as a part of the therapy journey for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues

Animals also promote the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, otherwise known as “Happy hormones”. The affect is an increase in the bodies ability to relax and ultimately, generate more stress-reducing responses.

While we have known the positive effects of animals in our lives since the term “Man’s best friend” was coined, there is now large amounts of evidence that support that perhaps animals are doing more than providing important companionship. Perhaps they can offer us a way to re-connect with ourselves and the world around us.

DID YOU KNOW? Ascent Clinical Services partners with Aspire Integrative Living to offer animal therapy and interaction to those seeking services from us? We offer facilities across the Denver Metro area that are located on farms and rural properties with dogs, goats, alpacas, and even chickens! Learn more by visiting

“It is the intuitive power of animals that can help us heal hurts, lessen stress, feel needed, and express our caring side.” Marty Becker, DVM, Resident veterinarian on Good Morning America



Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy