Dogs and Cats Make Us Better People

How dogs and cats boost our happiness and health

Dogs and Cats Make Us Better People

Ashley Turek, Journalist

        71 percent of people said that they feel more joyful because of their dogs or cats. 80 percent say their dogs or cats make it easier to wake up in the morning. 85 percent say they have helped them through difficult times in their lives. 93 percent say they are better people overall because of them. 

        Don’t you love dogs and cats with their playful, entertaining, sleepy, or loving attitudes? Well what if I said those attitudes actually benefit our health and happiness in many ways?

        Having interactions with your dog(s) is scientifically proven to boost your oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain that makes you feel relaxation, empathy, and trust, while decreasing feelings of stress or anxiety. Nobody likes feeling stressed out or anxious. 

        Not only do we get an increase in oxytocin, but dogs also expand by 130% in this hormone while interacting with their owners. Dogs have feelings too.

        These fun, loving canines also make it less likely for you to become depressed. When you take your dog on a walk, getting physical exercise you are automatically releasing endorphins, or chemicals that make us feel happy. Furthermore, while walking your dog you’re getting a great source of vitamin D, which has been shown to decrease sad feelings which can lead to depression. 72 percent of people that walk or run their dogs like this are more encouraged to exercise/stay healthy as a person.

        Homeless dogs are sometimes given to veterans for help with recovery. This helps the dog find a home and owner, while also helping the veteran recover. It’s a win-win situation.

        Spending time with dogs or cats makes us feel joyful and connected. This can actually build up our ability to be connected and kind with other people. We all need this in our daily lives from going to school or work, to additional activities.

        Now moving on to cats, the cute, lazy felines they are, help our health and contentment for countless reasons too.

        An Australian study confirms that individuals with cats are more confident, can focus and face problems in their lives easier, and are less nervous than people who don’t have cats. While a cat sits on your lap it’s scientifically proven to lower your stress/tensity, making you calmer.

        This affects heart rate too. It’s verified that cat owners have a lower resting heart rate than non cat owners. It’s healthier to have a low resting heart rate rather than a high resting heart rate. A low resting heart rate means your heart is pumping at a regular level to get blood to the rest of your body, however a high heart rate means your heart is working harder than it should be. This is not good because it could lead to potential serious health problems.

        From increasing our oxytocin levels to making us more active, these various reasons conclude why dogs and cats can boost our happiness and health.