Why Pets Keep Us Happy: 5 Reasons Backed by Science

Pets are fantastic at cheering a person up and keeping them happy. If you own a pet, you likely already know how much they can influence your mood.

Well, this is something that science has proven too…

1. Pets Provide a Physiological Boost

Your brain produces certain neurochemicals that can have an instant effect on your happiness levels.

Certain hormones, such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, are able to relax the mind, boost the mood and help a person feel calmer and more at peace.

What does this have to do with pets? 

Research has shown that spending time with a pet triggers the brain into producing more of those hormones. Physical touch enhances this even more, but even just looking at a pet will help to promote feelings of calmness and tranquility in the brain. 

2. Pets Help With Stress Reduction

Stress is on the opposite end of the scale from happiness, meaning that reducing your stress levels will go a long way in making you feel happy.

This is something else that your pet can help with…

When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This is also referred to as the stress hormone.

Having physical contact with a pet helps to bring cortisol levels back down, therefore also reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

3. Pets Provide Multiple Physical Health Benefits

The healthier you feel, the happier you will feel, and pets can really make a difference to your overall health.


Owning a pet provides you with the following health benefits:

  •     Lower blood pressure         
  •     Lower cholesterol levels         
  •     Lowered risk of cardiovascular disease         
  •     Lowered risk of heart attacks and strokes     
  •     Lowered risk of obesity    

4. Pets Keep You Active

Granted, this does depend on the type of pet you have, but the majority of pet owners out there tend to be much more active than those who don’t own a pet.

Staying active helps to increase energy levels, which, in turn, boosts the mood.

The fact that keeping active will also help to keep you healthy is an added bonus!

5. Pets Connect You to a Community

Humans are social creatures. Feeling as though you are an accepted part of a community can really help to keep you happy.

How do pets help with this?

Well, as soon as you own a pet, this places you in the community of pet owners. No matter what type of pet you have, you will likely end up meeting new people who also own a pet.

What about if you have an indoor pet? 

You will still likely be visiting pet stores and vets, and you will find so many other like-minded people here. There are also so many online forums and social media pages where pet owners can socialize. The way in which your pet will keep you connected to other people, whether this may be online or offline, will make you feel so much happier.

Owning a pet is such an effective way to ensure that you stay happy. No matter the type of pet you end up going for, it won’t be long before you notice the improvements in your mood, as well as your overall health. Learn more about how pets can help you day-to-day by clicking here!

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