Petting A Pet Boosts Our Mood

White background with "Why Petting A Pet Boosts Our Mood" written in the middle.  Below, are a series of cats and dogs.  At the top of the image, there are paw print cartoons.

Pets love being petted, and we love petting pets. Whether it’s cuddling with our dog, or stroking our cat, these simple actions can bring a small bit of happiness to our day. Keep scrolling and you’ll find the simple ways that petting a pet boosts our mood, and why we should give our pets more love and attention.

When we pet our furry friend, our stress hormones (cortisol) actually decrease! Even more-so, when we have a social interaction with our pet, while playing with them or cuddling them, a happiness hormone called oxytocin is released in our brain. In fact, oxytocin is the same hormone that bonds mothers with their babies. It is associated with feelings of empathy, trust, and a strong bond.

Boy in blue hoodie sitting in his living room.  He has short brown hair.  He is holding a dog in his arms.

Start your day off by cuddling your pet for a few minutes. This is a great hack to start your day off on a positive note, and feel calm right from the get-go. Additionally, cuddle your pet for a few minutes before going to bed, to reduce stress from the day, and sleep better.

In fact, petting a dog can boost our mood so significantly, that pet therapy is used in hospitals, to help patients who are sick feel happier. People with PTSD also may have access to animal therapy, because having a furry friend as a companion can truly make us feel happier.

We hope that today, you pet your own pet, or ask to pet one you see outside, and get a small bit of happiness.


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For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.

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