The Science Behind Why Pets Make Us Happy

Published | 3 min read
The Science Behind Why Pets Make Us Happy


Do you know that when you are feeling blue, just one look or one kiss from your pet significantly brightens your mood? The unconditional love of your pet can do you more good than you think. The close connection you have with your pet has its own physical as well as mental health benefits. Read on to find out the incredible effects of owning a pet and how their companionship makes you happier…

Why Do Pets Make Us Feel Better?

Interacting with your pet can help decrease stress and anxiety, improve heart health, and even help with your emotional and social skills. We don’t say it, science does. Documented studies have shown that interacting with animals increases levels of the hormone oxytocin and dopamine in the brain. These are referred to as the ‘feel-good’ chemicals that help you feel happy and motivated. For example-

  • Whenever you take your pet out for a walk, your own physical activity increases. This is especially helpful to people(without pets) that would preferably stay home but need exercise. Taking your pet out for a walk gives you a chance to get some workout yourself, making you healthier. Walks also have a way to give you a peace of mind, improving not only your physical health but mental too.

  • Have you noticed that when you cuddle your pet, shower them with kisses or just be affectionate with them, you start to feel happier. It may be because of their cuteness, their warm and soft embrace, the way they just cuddle right back or it may just be because of their mere presence. You feel fuzzy inside and you feel the need to play and spend all of your time with your furry buddy. This is the effect a pet has on us and that feeling can only be described as happiness.

  • Pets are known to be the source of comfort and assurance, particularly to people who have been alone for quite a while. These people are unable to interact socially, they become awkward around people and they avoid going out alone. They prefer the company of pets in a social setting as pets are known to be one of the best companions to humans. Their company prevents a person from panicking, being anxious or scared in crowded places or having an emotional meltdown. In fact, there is a term for such pets i.e. “Emotional Support Animal”(ESA). Once registered as an ESA, a person with mental disability or weak mental health are allowed to bring them along everywhere they go to help guide them or alleviate emotional distress. Research studies have documented a correlation between companion animals and the improvement of their owner’s mental health. 

  • There are several people who prefer the companionship of animals over man. They have explained that whenever they are feeling lonely or want somebody to talk to, their pets have always been there. They can talk about their problems and release pent up frustrations and their pet will never judge. They only whimper and hug their owner as if telling them, “It will get better”. Studies show that some animals are able to sense when their owner is feeling down, and their first instinct is to help them feel better. They do this by cuddling or hugging their owner, licking their face and some even try to provide distractions by encouraging their owners to play with them. Compassion and awareness are something people learn as they grow but some pets have it innately. 

Seeing how your pet is always there for you when you need them, how can you be anything but happy? Their sole presence is enough reason for you to be content, calm and peaceful because sometimes their radiant personality can help you more than any human being. It is highly recommended to get a pet if you feel lonely, and in need of a company because they can supply you with an endless amount of happiness and love.

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