Do Our Pets Impact the Way We Feel?

Taylor Meister, Staff Writer

Many people feel happier or calmer when they’re spending time with their pets. I mean, it’s pretty hard to be upset when you’re looking at an adorable furry face. But did you know that it is scientifically proven that interacting with animals can boost your mood? Studies show that interacting with our pets can decrease levels of a stress-related hormone called cortisol, as well as lower our blood pressure. It can also increase our levels of oxytocin, a “happy” hormone. Oxytocin triggers emotional responses linked to trust, empathy, bonding, and positive communication. In simpler terms- interacting with our pets can make us feel happier and less stressed. Science shows that our pets can decrease depression, anxiety, and stress, which boosts our mood.

Besides the scientific evidence, it’s also no surprise that our pets have such a positive impact on how we feel. If you have a cat purring and rubbing its face against yours, or a dog laying with their head on your lap, it’s kind of hard to feel unloved. Our pets are a constant reminder that we are never alone, and there is always at least one living being that loves us with their whole heart. This feeling of being constantly loved and cared about can reduce depression and loneliness. So next time you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or sad, take your dog on a walk. Give your cat a treat. Maybe interact with your fish for a few minutes. Whatever type of animal you have, show your pets some love for a few minutes, and you might find yourself feeling a bit happier.